College and The Coronavirus

Will there be college?


As the Coronavirus outbreak hopefully continues to slow, the question that people face is when things will start to open up. A big part of this is whether or not colleges around the US will be open for the fall semester. Although most are unsure that has been some news on this issue.

The University of South Carolina, for example, has planned on reopening for the fall semester. The University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen stated, “After weeks of analysis and consideration, and in consultation with the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to report that the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina will resume in-person instruction in mid-August”.

On the other hand parts of California have now extended the stay at home order by three months meaning that it should last through July. Along with this the California State University which has 23 campuses around California has declared that it will not hold in-person classes in the fall semester. However, the 10-campus University of California has not made any statements on whether or not in-person classes will be held in the fall.

If a vaccine was to be produced by the time schools were to open then according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there would be no question that schools would open. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci also said that there is no chance that there would be a vaccine ready by this time. He concluded by saying that there is research going into other treatments like a convalescent serum, which is done by administering antibodies to seriously sick patients. Things like this could allow schools to open in the fall.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “aggressive programs for wellness education, and making sure people understand when they’re symptomatic and need to seek evaluation” is a must when it comes to reopening schools. He also stated that the issue is going to come down to specific universities and schools. Meaning that schools and colleges will open based on the number of cases and how prepared they are to treat the virus.

In conclusion, it seems that although some schools have made their decisions it is too early to address the issue. The best thing we can do is to continue to be safe and allow the researchers to find a solution.