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The coronavirus still affects the world today and many students will likely return to school this fall in the midst of it.

Editorial: Students should promote public health instead of party flyers

Like many students at universities across the country, a portion of VSU students have ignored advice and have attended and hosted off-campus parties.

As college students, we look forward to a night out on the town. A night where we can forget about school work, daily responsibilities and the overwhelming stress from worrying about succeeding in everything we do. A social life is something that everyone wants to have, but is it worth having one if it can put everyone’s life at risk including your own?

The answer is no. Your social life should not jeopardize your health and others.

As of Friday Sept. 25, there are a total of 14 active Covid-19 cases on campus with eight of the new cases being students, according to the updated Coronavirus stats on VSU’s website.

It’s unclear where these students contracted the virus, but there’s a possibility that if those students attended one of the many off-campus parties, that they could have contracted it there and may have infected anyone they’ve been in contact with.

Whether you realize it or not, we have entered an age where it is crucial to be responsible for not only your own health but others as well. There is a great unknown in whether someone already has COVID-19 or if they are asymptomatic.

The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading, according to the Center of Disease Control.

The CDC also says that someone will be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 at “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.”

It takes one person who has the virus to pass the virus, and it’s a virus that can expand rapidly. For example, on Aug. 7 a small wedding in Maine caused an outbreak of 170 COVID-19 cases. According to Healthline.com, 62 people attended the wedding but only one guest attended with COVID-19. Eight people have been reported dead from the outbreak caused by the small wedding.

COVID-19 can also still affect you if you are healthy and have never experienced any life-threatening health conditions. For example, recently it has been reported that the first college student to die from COVID-19 was completely healthy. According to the Charlotte Observer, on Sept. 28 Chad Dorril, 19-year-old Appalachian State University student, died of COVID-19 complications and wasn’t even experiencing the major symptoms of COVID-19. Dorrill reported only being really tired and began feeling sick early September.

The point is, we can prevent this life-threatening disease from negatively affecting a fellow student’s life by simply staying educated and encouraging other students to save another person’s life as well.

It’s important for all students to promote public health instead of party flyers. Students need to stay up to date on CDC announcements and guidelines. Knowledge is power during this new normal, and students need to use their power to keep everyone safe including themselves.

Since there is no way of ensuring that all students are staying updated on important information regarding COVID-19, we believe that it is responsibility to educate and encourage its students on the importance of following standard health guidelines because VSU is nothing without it’s students.

The more students infected with the virus, the more likely the chances of VSU getting shut down increase.

To avoid this, VSU should conduct mandatory weekly online forums and online for students to complete about the importance of public health and any COVID-19 updates from the CDC. This will ensure all students are being updated personally and that no stone is left unturned.

Although the VSU Police Department can’t physically stop these parties from occurring unless there is a crime committed, they should be more involved in spreading awareness of the risk these off-campus parties can have on

Valdosta Police Department  should encourage everyone to report any large gatherings that occur in the city of Valdosta. Students who know about any off-campus parties should take action and report these parties so that they can be stopped. The VPD Non-Emergency Number to report large gatherings is 229-245-5270. You can also contact VSU police department’s non-emergency number at 229-333-7816.

The easiest thing students can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is avoid attending any large including off-campus parties. They should instead take advantage of online platforms like Zoom and host virtual parties. Controlling how you affect people is what hangs in the balance of ultimately saving another person’s life.

Students, please take into consideration the risk of your actions. There are thousands of lives in the palm of your hand and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to protect your life and theirs or be the one who can possibility murder thousands just by going out to off-campus parties.

In order for this virus to end, someone has to care enough to help stop it from killing people.

That person needs to be you.

 This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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