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Coronavirus works hard, but Miami students play harder

It’s 10:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night during midterms. Usually, students would be cramming in the library or piling into study rooms in preparation for their exams.

But not tonight.

As soon as Miami University President Greg Crawford’s email was sent out detailing Miami’s plan to switch to remote learning until April 12 (now the rest of the semester), students started to celebrate. Bars opened, house parties began and Uptown liquor stores had lines wrapped around the aisles. 

Students flocked Uptown, a few even cheering and applauding as they passed Crawford’s house.

As the long lines began to form outside of Brick Street, a documentary crew stopped students and interviewed them on the sidewalk. Sophomore media and culture major Patrick Guerreau and other members of his film class were attempting to finish their class project.

“Because of classes being online now, we can no longer do what we were intending to do for the rest of the semester and stuff,” Guerreau said. “And so [our professor] told us that for the rest of the semester, we’re going to document the coronavirus.”

Set up with multiple cameras and a microphone, the film crew attracted a lot of attention and rarely had to search for someone to talk to them. Students waiting in line at Brick, both sober and intoxicated, jumped at the opportunity to be on camera.

Two of these students, juniors Dylan Santacruz and Kyle Shuki, came “dressed in preventative measures,” outfitted in hospital gowns and safety goggles.

The two had “prepared for the possibility of an outbreak at Miami,” ordering the outfits on Amazon weeks before. They decided that Tuesday night was the perfect opportunity to wear their new protective clothing Uptown.

“I came prepared,” Santacruz said. “As soon as I heard [coronavirus] was in the United States, I ordered it.”

Santacruz and Shuki weren’t the only students dressed in celebration of the class cancelation. 

One student in line at Brick sported a Green Beer Day (GBD) shirt with “Corona Virus” written in large letters across the back. 

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Despite the warnings to avoid large gatherings and keep appropriate social distance, many students viewed the move to remote learning as an excuse to continue partying. On Wednesday, Brick opened at 1 p.m. for Beat the Clock, a drink-special event usually reserved for Saturdays.

Guerreau didn’t seem surprised by students’ eagerness to continue going out, despite the ongoing uncertainty.

“It seems like people are not afraid because the coronavirus has not hit Brick Street yet,” he said.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, March 15, all Ohio bars and restaurants have closed their doors indefinitely as a preventative measure to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Miami’s coronavirus information page can be accessed here. The CDC also has a comprehensive coronavirus page. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms can call the Student Health Service at 513-529-3000. 

Students with questions about the coronavirus and the university’s policies can reach out to Associated Student Government.