The announcement WSU Pullman would be going back to full capacity this fall has created an exciting energy around campus during a time that could be scary, partly because of the highly contagious Delta variant.
After over a year spent online, this announcement felt far from overdue, and many students are beyond excited for the end of virtual learning.
Months spent alone learning in our rooms all across the country have left us all craving the Coug community. But even with the valid excitement of returning to in-person classes, we must realize that worries about the spread of the Delta variant are real and mounting.
Even with the rise of cases, Cougs are remaining positive. Kalani Silvers, senior Biology student, described he has been ready to return to campus since last March.
“I’m optimistic because it’s been a year and a half of shutdowns,” Silvers said. “So hopefully we can be back face to face.”
Continuing to be optimistic during this time is important. WSU students have had more than a tough time studying with others virtually, meeting new people and moving away from home throughout this pandemic.
Returning to in-person learning with a dangerous strain such as the Delta variant spreading concerns some students about being back at full capacity.
Taking little steps to personally stop the spread before it even starts will go a long way in keeping everyone safe. Wearing a mask, getting vaccinated if you are able and social distancing when necessary are all actions we should continue to take.
“I think if people don’t follow precautions, there is a high probability of a shutdown,” Silvers said, “because some professors are of advanced age.”
Protecting others is the first thing we should all be considerate of. With around 20,000 students attending WSU Pullman, we need to remember the famous phrase “Cougs help Cougs.”
As a campus, WSU requires vaccinations unless health-related, religious or personal reasons are submitted and approved. Students should get vaccinated to engage in in-person learning and partake in activities outside of class.
Eva Avila, senior animal science major, said she is beyond ready to be on campus and get the WSU experience after transferring schools. However, she is concerned about students who are immunocompromised, like her roommate, so her priority is staying safe.
“I think masks are the easiest [step for students to take],” Avila said. “And just reminding people to wash their hands and be aware that germs are still spreading. Just because people aren’t worried about it doesn’t mean they are not there.”
WSU COVID-19 guidelines state masks are mandatory indoors for everyone starting Aug. 23 regardless of vaccincation status.
We may not be at the end of the pandemic like many of us were hoping for, but staying considerate of the people around us will help us safely continue with in-person learning.
“I am excited to go back to school; I never got a chance to be in-person,” Avila said. “A lot of people do better in person, but COVID is spooky.”
Cougs can easily reduce the spread health experts predict when we return for the fall semester. All it takes is to wear a mask, social distance and get the vaccination if you are able.
We can all be excited to be back at full capacity, but we should still be considerate of others during this time.