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Are we ready to go back yet?

As the governments are starting to relax the rules and people are starting to accept a new normal to go back to their daily lives, we often forget that the COVID-19 virus has still not left the world. While we are all wondering about what is next and if we will be able to go back to our colleges and Universities for the coming semester, according to Conor Van Santen from Saint Louis University, the more important question to ask is should we go back?


Van Santen points out a few reasons about SLU stating why it may not be a good idea to return just yet. This include factors like the students staying off-campus in housings which are not exclusively for students, putting them in constant communication and interaction with the larger community, a responsibility that we hold towards the community we live in at large – the St. Louis community in this case – who cannot be put at risk because of the reopening of the institution, having faculty who are mostly above 50 years of age, making them more vulnerable to the virus, and a section of the students who may not be as immunologically strong as the others.


Though Van Santen’s points are specifically for Saint Louis University, these are applicable for most educational institutions across the globe. There is, perhaps, no one who denies that virtual classes cannot match up to the practical, classroom learning that students have been exposed to. Neither can a Zoom or Google Meet meeting replace the student and teacher interactions, and the fun time spend at college. However, is going back for physical classes really worth it? Are in-person classes worth putting so much at stake for? These are some questions that every institution must ask itself before deciding to open in a fit of enthusiasm.


N Malavika Mohan