After a protracted two-and-a-half years of the life-altering COVID-19 pandemic, it is tempting to subscribe to the idea that we must always lastly return to regular – no masks, no lockdowns and no fast concern for the lives of these in your social circle. Definitely, it appears the temptation was an element within the College of Cincinnati’s (UC) coverage choices surrounding the pandemic.
Starting with a blanket indoor masks requirement and vaccination requirement first scheduled for October 2021, UC began the 2021-2022 college 12 months with some regard for the pandemic. Whereas it wasn’t good, and the announcement was made after the vaccine had been obtainable for months, there was some semblance of concern for college kids’ wellbeing. Sadly, this idea has seemingly dropped off UC’s radar.
Shortly after the vaccination requirement was introduced, it was pushed to the top of the spring 2022 semester – a alternative that endangered the lives of lots of of UC college students for the sake of tuition. Now, college students aren’t even required to obtain a vaccine, nor are they required to put on a masks indoors.
Whereas official UC COVID-19 coverage strongly means that college students do these items, there isn’t a mechanism that incentivizes or requires them to in the event that they in any other case would not. Equally, the only remaining mask mandates are the Faculty of Drugs, public transit, scientific settings or inside ten days post-exposure. Elsewhere, college students are free to do as they need. Academics are inspired to inform their college students to put on masks, however it’s not a requirement.
Even within the college students’ personal residing areas, they don’t seem to be essentially in a position to decide on to stay as secure as potential from the pandemic. On high of the housing disaster, full dorms imply that college students are extra tightly packed collectively continuously. What’s extra, college students can’t choose to be assigned a room with somebody who has additionally obtained the vaccination.
Moreover, the quarantine housing that was once provided to college students testing optimistic for COVID-19 will not be assured. As a substitute of providing secure, assured quarantine places, UC’s policy is that “all scholar residents ought to have particular person plans for isolation housing within the occasion they’re required to take action.”
Though extra COVID-19 coverage faults exist, what’s extra vital to think about is the perspective that these actions painting. these examples, two issues are clear: For one, the college’s coverage doesn’t put the well being of their college students first out of concern of decrease earnings or inconvenience. For 2, the college is, in coverage consequence, performing as if the pandemic is over.
Whereas their pandemic coverage has fallen by the wayside, COVID-19 instances haven’t – the CDC’s COVID-19 by County checker nonetheless ranks Hamilton County at a excessive neighborhood stage. At this stage, communities are really useful to put on a masks indoors in public and keep updated with their COVID-19 vaccines – two issues that UC constantly refuses to face behind with precise coverage slightly than meaningless statements.
All that mentioned, it can be crucial for people to decide on to masks up and get their COVID-19 photographs and boosters for the security of the entire neighborhood. What’s extra influential and extra essential in sustaining that security, although, is the coverage choices of these that may require these public well being actions – and on this case, UC has put college students’, academics’ and schools’ by failing to just do that.