by THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
Only two weeks into classes, the University of Mary Washington has already had 24 cumulative cases and currently has 20 active cases of COVID-19, according to the dashboard. Even this is an alarming number considering that masks are required in class, and, as we were informed in President Paino’s email sent on August 23, over 90% of students and employees are vaccinated.
Although classes are back in person and more activities are possible with such a high vaccination rate, it is still so important to continue taking precautions against COVID-19. The staff of the Blue & Gray Press urges our fellow students to continue masking and distancing in class when possible, as well as being mindful of their activities off campus.
The delta variant is currently the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S., according to the CDC. This variant is over two times more contagious than others, and though unvaccinated people are of course at the highest risk for contraction, fully vaccinated people can both catch and spread this strain of the virus. This creates a necessity for precautions even though most of us students are vaccinated.
Another factor that necessitates safety is the presence of immunocompromised students, professors and other staff members on campus. It is of the utmost importance to extend compassion to these individuals, as those of us who are not immunocompromised cannot begin to understand the fear that they face while living through a pandemic. To learn more about this perspective, take a look at the personal essay in the life section entitled “Personal Essay: Pandemic isn’t over for the immunocompromised.”
Everyone wants to go back to normal, especially when UMW was such an active, bustling, friendly campus before the pandemic. It’s important to appreciate the steps we are taking towards normalcy and the opportunity to once again attend in person classes while still actively taking safety precautions to protect our vulnerable community members. Our staff hopes everyone has a blast being back on campus, but stays mindful of the new dangers coming with the dominance of the delta variant.