Robin Blassberg Managing Editor
To preserve the safety and health of its students and the surrounding community, the University of Connecticut needs to shut down and go fully online.
As of 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2020, UCONN has 176 confirmed cumulative residential cases, 158 cumulative commuter cases, seven faculty cases, and 69 isolation beds in use, from 20, 282 tests, according to their school newspaper, “The Daily Campus.” An article called, “Is UCONN’s COVID-19 testing really working?” from the Editorial Board at the Daily Campus links the uptick in cases to the questions they have on the validity of the testing conducted at UCONN. They blame the “frequency, volume, and elective nature” of the testing, as well as “the repeated breaking of social distancing guidelines on and off campus.” These factors have therefore invalidated testing in their opinion. Thus, the instances of COVID-19 may be worse than we even know.
Not only does keeping students on campus during the pandemic with such a large amount of cases harm the safety of the students and the community, but it also leaves students who must quarantine in unpleasant conditions. Rachel Phillipson’s article, “Stress, loneliness and confusion: Students share their stories of quarantine and isolation” reveals how UCONN students who are forced to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 case or someone they were in close proximity with had a positive COVID-19 case feel being quarantined. Their experiences are universally “lonely and nerve racking.” One of the people interviewed, Rebecca Riter, tested positive after her roommate tested positive, and only “‘had about 30 minutes to go back to my suite and pack enough clothes and belongings for 10 days in isolation.’” Another student who was interviewed, Kuba Zakrzewicz, felt as if the two weeks he was in isolation “felt never-ending.”
Through the experiences of these students, it is clear UCONN needs to ask itself if keeping students on campus, risking them contracting the virus and having to self-quarantine is worth it.