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Local students express concerns about rising numbers of COVID-19 on campuses

By: Donnamy Steele

With Covid-19 surging through campuses across the state of Alabama, local Covington County students express their concerns. Auburn University’s case numbers multiplied by five over the week bringing their cases to over 200, meanwhile, the University of Alabama is seeing a jump to 531 cases since reopening last week.

Auburn University freshman Tristyn Harrison is adjusting to college life amidst a pandemic. Her expectations for college were much different months ago, Harrison said.

“Well it’s definitely different right now compared to what all of us expected to go into, given wearing masks in and outside of the classroom. It’s definitely a change and not something we dreamed of doing,” Harrison said. “I’m blessed to be at Auburn right now even though classes are mostly online. I think most are willing to comply in order to get what we can out of it.”

The rapid rising of COVID-19 cases on campus are concerning for Harrison.

“I’ve had a few friends of mine that have gotten corona and it’s definitely a fear of mine that I’ll get it and bring it home to my family,” Harrison said. “Auburn is great about tests and getting results back shortly. I won’t live in fear, but with the right protocols, taking tests, and wearing masks to classes, to the gym, and the stores I think we’ll be okay.”

Although some students abide by the social distancing protocols, Harrison has noticed many treat the situation more nonchalantly.

“I have not been involved because of the fear of bringing it to my loved ones, but I have seen Snapchats of people partying like normal college students would, but I think the kids who really want to party are still going to party and it’s sad they won’t take the precautions needed to end the virus we are encountering.”

University of Alabama junior Emily Baker explained that the semester is off to a non-traditional start, with all of her classes being changed to online classes.

“Most of my classes were online and I had one hybrid class, but now it’s online now. I’m not even on campus, which sucks because I don’t even leave my apartment and I don’t have to go on campus. I have a year lease now, but all of my classes are online,” Baker said. “I feel like I don’t get much of a college experience this year because i don’t get to interact with my friends or anybody really.”

The University of Alabama is changing the way students use campus resources in order to maintain safety, said Baker.

“You have to scan your student ID to get into the library and you have to have appointments in the library for computers now,” Baker said. “We also have to wear masks inside and outside, but I haven’t had to deal with that since my classes are online now.”

The city of Tuscaloosa has placed additional safety precautions including closing down local bars for 14 days to curb the spread of the virus. Baker explained that the ban does not affect her personally, but she believes that students will find a way to party regardless.

“It doesn’t really affect me much. I don’t think it will help that much because I feel like people will still find a way to go out and do what they want to do regardless of the ban. If they can’t party now it will be 10 times worse when they are allowed to again,” Baker said.