As students across the country return to college campuses, mask mandates and social distancing have become commonplace.
At Simpson, many students are following protocol to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the virus has still made an impact on the campus population.
One of the biggest changes students are noticing is the number of restrictions on dining and gatherings.
“I think that the biggest change probably is dining, and how people are responding to not being able to be inside with one another,” senior Evan Sand said. “Everyone is outside.”
Other students feel it is difficult to see their classmates.
“I feel like I’m hardly seeing anybody at all,” said Madeline Gude, a junior at Simpson.
Gude has also been forced to quarantine after a classmate was confirmed to have COVID-19. She has been living at home since.
“I’m zooming with people for meetings and classes, so there’s some social stimulation,” Gude said.
Sand has also gotten creative in making life a little easier during the pandemic.
“I made a mask rack by our door so we can pull our masks and just leave,”
he said. “That’s been pretty easy. The whole mask thing has been pretty easy. I have been washing my hands more, so that’s a good thing.”
Changes in the classroom, such as assigned seating and social distancing, are also an everyday part of students’ lives.
“I don’t think it’s detrimental to the learning experience. I think we are going to see a rise in this type of format, even after the pandemic,” Sand said.
Gude has had to do her classes entirely online since being quarantined.
“There really is a big difference in online learning,” Gude said. “It’s kind of a joke because you don’t have the same opportunities. Teachers are just kind of giving passes on stuff because they know online learning can be so hard.”
Looking into the future, students are cautious to see what awaits.
Sand believes the burden to keep COVID-19 from spreading on campus lies with students.
“I think that is going to be completely up to us as a student body,” Sand said. “If we continue to not wear masks around campus, or if we continue to [go] off-campus to party, or have parties on campus or go out to bars, those are high-risk activities. Those are going to cause an outbreak on campus, and I think what we’re going to see is Simpson run out of isolation rooms very quickly, and that’s going to put us into red.”