Warmer weather has come to rescue Fairfield students from the gray of winter, and with warmer weather comes the want to be outside more! Students on campus are spending more time outside, lounging on lawns and hanging out on the quad. However, with COVID-19 still being a major health and safety concern there comes the question of ‘is this safe?’
COVID-19 quarantines have gotten the better part of my mental health and even brought up the issue of feeling isolated. I’m sure this is something that many students have felt after being pulled from school just a year ago. Though it can be seen as risky to certain people, to go outside and socialize, I believe it’s an important aspect of self care. Getting fresh air and soaking up some sun is the best way to boost my morale and it can still be done safely when following guidelines during these confusing times.
How well is DPS handling the safety of students while maintaining the balance of fun when it comes to outdoor gatherings?
“As long as we continue to practice social distancing and face coverings it should be safe,” Director of DPS Todd Pelazza tells me. Along with this he added that having the opportunity to get some vitamin D is great for students! Meaning, students are not discouraged from getting outdoors.
Though Pelazza shares the simple precautions students must follow to be outside, DPS has had to intervene on such social gatherings when safety protocols were not followed. Though DPS is doing their job, I can’t help feeling bad for these students who are struggling to find a sense of normalcy as a college student navigating the obstacles of living in a Covid-19 world. I think that there are so many schools across the country, especially when thinking about larger state schools, that are less strict with COVID-19 restrictions. Students living on campus all over the country have to feel this sense of confusion about how to behave and how to socialize when each state’s safety guidelines differ. “Remember, these safety measures are in place to keep the positivity rate low on campus,” said Pellaza.
I believe students on campus should definitely take advantage of this weather and get outside! Though safety protocols are simple, I can see how there might be a sense of tiredness of COVID-19 all together. Though I said these guidelines are “simple”, I feel that statement is easier said than done. Living on campus means a lot of surveillance from DPS which can leave students feeling maybe upset with their degree of freedom to socialize compared to seniors at the beach or those who live off campus all together.
Vaccines have started to ramp up, many students have scheduled an appointment or even been vaccinated at this point. The idea of hope and a positive outlook for a near future without masks and social distancing has made me antsy and at times upset that I have to follow so many guidelines after this devastating year. Understandably these guidelines are for our health and safety, but I believe many people are tired of following the rules and are more focused on getting back to their lives.
Students have not been able to experience college to the full extent that they did in a pre COVID-19 world. With the arrival of vaccines and the state of Connecticut now allowing all those above 16 to be vaccinated, as of April 1, students are growing hopeful. They are hopeful for a normal return to social life, which I think can create restlessness to not be as safe! As I mentioned above, the idea of vaccines and most of the population getting a vaccine will definitely pose a threat to following these COVID-19 guidelines, I know personally I can’t wait to not wear a mask and I’m sure I will become more tired of it when I receive my two doses of the vaccine.
Until then, we must remain compliant to the guidelines placed for our wellbeing as well as to stop the further spreading of this life changing virus so many of us have suffered the repercussions of. Remember to wear your masks and properly distance even when outside. Enjoy the weather!