It was my hope that starting in the fall quarter would mean in-person classes and no restrictions. Unfortunately, the Delta variant had other plans. The University of Washington confirmed on August 13 that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be wearing masks on campus due to the Delta variant’s rapid spread through the United States.
It was recently reported by the Washington Post that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are saying that even those who are vaccinated can spread the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. This new finding has, understandably, caused concern among those who are vaccinated.
The question is should the University of Washington continue with the previously laid plans to return to in-person classes for fall quarter.
The fact that only 259 people in Washington state that were vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New York Times, means that the risk is low for those who are vaccinated. I believe the University of Washington should remain in-person, as long as all safety procedures are followed.
Some may prefer to remain online as there is still a risk, albeit a small one as according to The New York Times, vaccinated people are 50 times less likely to be hospitalized than nonvaccinated people in Washington. Those who wish to remain online should have that option made available to them.
However, it is my senior year and after doing online school for over a year I am ready to go back and to experience college for the first time. I want a real graduation, as my high school graduation was virtual, and I want to stand with my graduating class in person if anything, just to feel the excitement and pride in the air.
As a running start student, this last year or so was supposed to be the most eventful of my life so far. I was supposed to attend prom, graduate from high school with my associate degree and then go to the college I’d been hoping to get into for years, which of course was the University of Washington.
I’ve gotten over the initial shock and grief over my loss of not being able to experience these events, but I am still hopeful that this year I will be able to reclaim the college experience that I missed out on for so long.
I am happy to sanitize my hands, wear masks and even maintain social distancing as long as it means I will get to experience at least one senior year of school.