It is fair to say that the vast majority of America now looks at COVID-19 in the rearview mirror. This overwhelming sense of conclusion comes as hospitalizations fall and vaccination rates continue to rise. Yet, COVID-19 is far from over, and a third wave may be just weeks away from transpiring.
This concern comes from the 2020 COVID spike in which holiday travel led to shutdowns and school closures across the country. Given the recent introduction of the Delta variant, there is cause for concern.
Drake took notice before the fall semester even began, hinting at the possibility of a schedule change that would combine fall break and Thanksgiving break into one. This change would reduce the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak on campus, as students would not be moving on and off campus quite as often.
Now, the university has seemingly settled on not making the schedule change, as a recent Drake University announcement made it clear that no calendar changes are expected at this time.
Despite this newfound confident stance taken by Drake, on-campus students are still concerned about the possibility of a Delta variant outbreak later this fall.
This belief that many are not taking COVID-19 seriously is shared by many students on campus.
Where, then, does this belief come from? The answer is likely social media and the so-called numbing of impact through repeated exposure. More simply put, the impact a widely reported event has on someone’s emotions and prior beliefs dwindles exponentially as the headline is seen repeatedly across media sources.
This emotional numbing of the public has caused the overwhelming sense of conclusion described earlier. People are simply tired of seeing headlines surrounding Covid19 and have thus zoned themselves out of the daily coverage.
This combination of public disinterest in COVID-19 and the rising Delta variant brews the perfect storm for a catastrophic COVID outbreak over the upcoming holiday season.
There still stands a firm number of those who do see the looming threat of COVID-19, and they are voicing their concerns.
“I’m worried that my friends and I may need to quarantine before and after seeing our families, or worse, that the virus will spread continuously around campus, causing the need for my friends and I to engage in online classes for the remainder of the semester or even the school year,” said Sydney Hermes, a first year, on-campus student.
This fear seems concurrent with many Drake students’ worries, as roughly 73% of
students polled (45 of 61 polled) believe a holiday season COVID-19 outbreak is well on the way.
As concerns continue to rise with the holiday season just weeks away from beginning, one question is on the minds on Drake students: If and when a third wave of COVID-19 arrives, will Drake University be ready, or is a repeat of the 2020 lockdowns already inevitable?