In March 2020, life as we know it changed. COVID-19 made its way to the U.S. and shut everything down. We, as a nation, went into quarantine.
Almost two years later, in Dec. 2021, we are still in the midst of COVID-19.
A year ago, the first COVID-19 vaccine was authorized and made its way through healthcare and essential works. By April, there were vaccine clinics for Albion College students to receive their vaccines.
In March, the delta variant first stepped into the United States. When students came back to campus in the fall, it was during the height of the delta variant discussion. Delta was deemed the most contagious strain at the time, being twice as contagious as previous variants.
Delta even caused panic for those that were vaccinated. COVID-19 positive cases started to rise among vaccinated people, in addition to having mild symptoms.
Three weeks into the semester, Albion College had a small breakout of the delta variant amongst vaccinated students.
On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the new strain of COVID-19 was to be called the omicron strain. As of right now, omicron has entered 19 states within the U.S. In an attempt to limit the spread of the omicron variant, there has been a travel ban put into place for the southern African countries, where omicron was detected.
The omicron variant has been deemed to be more contagious than the delta variant. It has also been deemed to be a strain that is more capable of reinfecting those that have already had COVID-19. As of right now, health officials aren’t sure of the effectiveness of vaccines, but they are working on it. It is also noted that the current PCR COVID-19 tests are able to detect this strand, but are not certain if other forms of tests can detect it.
Due to omicron, some schools, such as DePaul University, will be having the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester online.
In an afternoon email to students, Notre Dame announced that the university will be requiring students to have the COVID-19 booster.
As time goes on, there will be more COVID-19 variants, just as quickly as we discovered the omicron variant. We need to take precautions seriously as this disease continues to mutate.
Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over. It’s still very relevant no matter how much we want to be done with it.
It’s been a long and daunting two years, almost, but we can’t stop fighting because COVID-19 has not stopped.
COVID-19 still needs to be taken seriously. If you are feeling sick, please don’t go to class. If you are sick, please don’t go to practice. Stay home if you are feeling sick at all. If a student tells you they are sick, coaches and professors, please believe them. This isn’t the time to enforce strict attendance policies when COVID-19 is all around us still.
No one wants to be the one who thought they just had a cold when it’s actually COVID-19. Please take the correct precautions to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.