COVID-19 College Students

A typical college dorm room strewn with filth and debris is a petri dish for COVID-19.

UPDATE (08/02/2020):

Many colleges and universities have opted to resume classes online which is a preferable and safer method of instructing students considering the current inability of teens and twenty-somethings to refrain from mass gatherings (parties, clubs, music venues, beaches, etc.).  The safety of college staff and faculty should take precedent over any instruction provided to students. 

There should be no monetary discount for on-line learning considering Professors will often have to devote more time and effort to “educating” and evaluating students who are not physically present and who (by nature of their ineffective high school experiences) are ill-prepared to independently devote themselves to assignments and course requirements. Professors should take a firm stance on grading and not let on-line students game the system by failing to present work or having others submit papers or tests for them. Many college students will attempt to fool their Professors.  

In a short time, colleges across America will reopen amidst a rise in Corona Virus cases.  All across the southern and western parts of the country, there is now a spike in cases, and young people between the ages of 20 and 30 yrs. of age are the new carriers.  These same carriers will travel off to college in late August and early September where they will undoubtedly spread the virus on campus, as well as anywhere they venture off-campus.  This rise in cases is due to the early opening of beaches, bars, restaurants, and other “gathering places” for youth in many States.  Today’s twenty and thirty-somethings do not practice “social distancing”, nor do they wear face masks or have adequate hygiene.  They are a filthy, dirty, smelly lot – that is primarily concerned about partying and having a good time.  Many are on drugs and due to their unsanitary living conditions (which they are quite comfortable with) the college campus/dormitories will become incubators for COVID-19; quite possibly producing a new and more virulent strain.   Many college workers and professors are concerned that these students will infect them with the disease, which is highly communicable. Citizens and business owners in local college towns are also worried about these students spreading COVID-19 in their vicinity.

College administrators need to make plans now to protect their employees/professors and local citizens – who are rightfully fearful these returning students will contaminate the entire community.  COPFOX recommends that upon arriving on campus each student report to a central location specifically designated as a COVID-19 inspection area; where they will be examined for signs of the virus, including given a temperature test and complete a series of questions about their health and past exposures.  At that COVID-19 inspection area, every student will be given a face mask and instructed on how to wear it and rules governing social distancing.  Face masks should be mandatory whenever the student is in class or in a public area.  Students who are COVID free will be issued a Health Card and allowed to attend classes and occupy residence halls.  Those who show signs of COVID-19 would be quarantined for 14 days, and then re-examined. Should their condition worsen they should be hospitalized and disenrolled from the college/university.

Finally, periodic inspections should be made of the students living quarters on campus, to ensure they are practicing adequate hygiene.  Today, most high school/college students barely bathe and often wear the same clothes for days on end.  Sexually active college females are particularly foul and unsanitary, and will often stink up (or contaminate) a room with their presence, necessitating an evacuation of the premises along with sanitizing or fumigation for health reasons.  COPFOX has many experienced teachers on its advisory board, and they routinely comment on how filthy high school and college students are, as well as their parents.  These students often present themselves on campus with a variety of sicknesses, with no concern about spreading it to others.  The six-foot social distancing rule would also work well in America’s high schools, given how parents are negligent in teaching their kids about cleanliness, hygiene, and diseases.  The one sure way to keep safe is to maintain an adequate distance from the infected students.

Should college administrators decide that a COVID-19 plan is not appropriate for their institution, then they should consider giving classes online where there is limited contact between students and teachers.  Online instruction would also limit student contact with those living in the community surrounding the college which is especially important since many of these residents are senior citizens, and cannot afford to come in contact with a COVID-19 carrier.  Online learning would also obviate the need for students to visit or live on campus; allowing them to remain at home with their parents/grandparents, which seems to be a common arrangement for most twenty/thirty-somethings today.

COPFOX has contracted with several college campuses as advisors and makes these recommendations for the benefit of college employees and professors – who may become very sick or even die if exposed to a COVID-19 student.  If, as a college professor or employee, your school has not adequately addressed this COVID-19 situation then your union or representative should mention it immediately, and demand action.  Your life may depend on it!