The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
We are still in a pandemic. We hate to be the ones to say it, but it’s starting to feel like nobody else will.
Students are becoming careless about wearing masks inside campus buildings, most professors are allowing students fewer absences, surveillance testing has become optional and Miami University is set on having a “robust” semester.
But accepting omicron’s presence for what it is means admitting defeat – and if that’s where we’re at as a community, then it feels like we’ve already lost.
Students have a chance to come back from our complacency. The semester can still turn around, but the student body has to act now and push through the relaxed messaging coming from the school.
Why is it that so many students seem to be OK with exposing themselves to COVID-19? We get that some have already had it, don’t think the omicron variant is severe enough to raise concern or they’re just burnt out on it.
All of that might be true, but the reality is this – surrendering to the virus means we will lose people in our community.
So, please, don’t give up yet. What students do at this stage in the pandemic matters more than we know.
It’s difficult to continue living with this virus as we inch closer to the life we knew before the pandemic started. But even though school seems like it’s back to normal, with bars Uptown looking just like they did in 2019 and so many people telling us “who cares,” students need to find the compassion to continue protecting ourselves and the people around them.
We think it’s a mistake that the university made surveillance testing optional. But, we know that on-campus students were tested before coming back to campus, and the administration is meeting on a daily basis to keep up with omicron's contagious nature.
The omicron variant is incredibly contagious, and that’s something students need to be thinking about as the semester goes on, and regulations become increasingly relaxed.
But just because students aren’t being forced to opt-into surveillance testing doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Yes, it can be inconvenient to be summoned into testing, but it’s just the right thing to do.
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If it really is a problem for you to commute to campus, a more convenient option would be to pick up free at-home tests from Armstrong, the Rec Center or King Library. But, you’re limited to two tests from the school, so you might want to get more free tests that can be delivered right to your home by the United States Postal Service.
Get boosted; it’s not a hot take – we know, but we still highly recommend. Miami University has a clinic located in the Armstrong Student Center in Haines, where TriHealth will administer vaccines and boosters on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling 513-529-3000.
If you do get your Booster shot, remember to report it.
As far as masks go, there is a mandate for wearing masks indoors Uptown. Even though some business owners may not enforce it, you should still keep your mask on indoors anywhere in Oxford – for your safety and for the safety of those around you.
As the school continuously puts more responsibility for controlling the virus on its students, we must all be responsible. If not for ourselves, then for our community.
We wish we were done with the pandemic too, but we’re just not. So, please, keep using defensive measures, protect yourself, test yourself and do what you can to stay healthy.