Editorial: Seeing light at the end of the Covid tunnel


Megaphone file photo

With the decrease in the number of Covid cases, wearing a mask on campus is no longer required.

Megaphone Staff

Compared to March 2020, the Covid-19 guidelines are going in a completely new, positive direction. Masks used to be strictly mandated across the country; they are now optional on campus. Anyone who was exposed to Covid-19 or deemed a close contact had to quarantine for two weeks earlier in the pandemic. Now, those two weeks have been reduced to nothing for close contacts.

With all of the changes made to the Covid-19 guidelines on the Hill and throughout the United States, it’s easy to become optimistic about what the future will hold for the pandemic. However, health officials warn that there is a high probability of another strand of the disease. 

And this strand is estimated to hit right around the time everyone is traveling — spring break. 

There are steps that we can take to deter the variant from becoming as widespread as the other strands were in past years. Simple safety measures such as washing hands frequently and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough can still have a significant impact on containing the disease. 

Although the number of Covid-19 cases has declined significantly, it’s obviously still possible to contract the virus. If you do contract Covid-19 you should make any and all of your close contacts aware that you have tested positive. School nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt ‘86 also stressed that this is one of the biggest factors in preventing another outbreak, similar to 2020 and 2021. If close contacts are not notified that someone they’ve been around has Covid-19, and they do not test themselves, the disease will continue to spread rampantly. 

Vogt also noted that staying home when you test positive or feel ill is another way to prevent the spread of the disease. Even if you do not test positive for Covid-19, if you still feel sick, it is still vital for you to stay home, for your sake and the sake of others. Covid-19 is not the only disease, and stopping the spread of any illness is just as important. 

With so many members of the Irish family traveling out of state in March and April and a new strand predicted to be on the horizon, the need for people to do their part by notifying close contacts, staying home when they feel sick or test positive and continuing to wash their hands and wear masks when required is increasingly important. 

The highest number of positive Covid-19 cases on campus occurred during the weeks of J-Term, when everyone on the Hill was everywhere but the Hill, on field trips for educational purposes pertaining to the course. Spring break is also a time when students and teachers will be enjoying time off of school and vacationing to different places. We should learn from this spike and understand that continuing to abide by safety precautions does have an effect on the spread of Covid-19. 

Each person can impact the direction that Covid-19 goes, whether that is continuing to decline in numbers or spiking with the new variant. By doing your part, Covid-19 may be contained, even throughout the weeks surrounding spring break.