By Leonardo Cervantes
In what has been a struggling year and a half for most will finally have some sense of normalcy. ELAC will have limited in-person classes returning for the fall semester. It will have been well over a year since ELAC campus was forced to suspend in-person classes due to the COVID-19 virus but it seems like that will change during Fall.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been going well and is leading to lower hospital visits and deaths. Via the LA TIMES, 19.2% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose. Case counts are far below the peak. Over the last seven days, the state has averaged 3,881 cases per day, a 32.8% decrease from two weeks ago. Trying to predict the future is hard but the recent data is showing signs of progress. By the time the new semester begins, the percentages of vaccinated individuals will be extremely higher and case counts will likely be significantly lower. President Joe Biden recently said he expects small family gatherings to be safe for a fourth of July celebration. So fast-forwarding a month after that it is not inconceivable that attending campus will be safe.
Young adults will be entrusted to be responsible not only for themselves but for their classmates. The world is still in a pandemic and students must be mindful of the situation. The school cannot police students on what to do, but reminding them not to give handshakes would be good. Masks and disposable gloves should still be mandatory at all times. There should be an agreement between the school and the staff members, if a student refuses to wear a mask they should not be allowed in the classroom. This not only benefits the students, but the rest of their classmates as well.
Even if students and staff are vaccinated, wearing a mask should be mandatory. Staff and faculty should make an arrangement if a student is under the weather, it would be best not to show up to class. There is no need to take unnecessary risks and put the rest of your classmates in jeopardy. If any student or staff member feel any symptoms, they should automatically quarantine. Better to be safe than sorry. Maybe Campus officials can make some type of compromise like having the cafeteria, library and bathrooms limited to half of its normal capacity. That way student and faculty safety can be ensured from COVID-19.
This pandemic normalized young adults not interacting with one another. With in-person classes being available soon, students will finally have human interaction once again. Young adults need to socialize with others and connect with kids their age. It is not normal for young adults not to be able to interact with others in their age group, so opening the campus again will be a huge benefit. It will give students a morale boost to be back living somewhat normally again. This morale boost can possibly improve their school work.
The feeling of being locked down in your own home will, for the most part, go away. Mental health issues rose during the pandemic for many reasons but one of them was because young adults were essentially trapped in their homes for safety. A lot of the norms, like going to the grocery store, suddenly became not so normal. You had to be mindful of potentially contracting COVID-19. Students returning to in-person classes on campus will finally feel like usual again.