Disclaimer: We are not doctors. Talk to a real one. Don’t sue.
Let me paint a picture for you: After a long, lonely summer, at a tedious internship, you finally arrive on Grounds, ready for a semester of interesting classes and exciting social events. Then suddenly, boom, your body is stricken with an illness that has plagued you before. Something you beat before but nearly robbed you of your favorite sense: taste. The virus that shut down the world for a year. COVID.
Just when we thought we were in the clear, a late summer wave of COVID has emerged. While not as devastating as previous waves, COVID remains dangerous to the vulnerable with over 17,000 hospitalizations during the week of August 26th according to the New York Times. UVA is not safe from this explosion of cases, as hundreds of students have tested positive. As one student put it, “COVID is a b****a** disease,” which seems to be a sentiment echoed by sick students across the board. “It was my 5th time having it, so it wasn’t that bad,” he continued, “but I still had to miss out on class and events.” In response, I’ve compiled a list of rules I believe UVA should implement to slow the spread.
1.) First of all, food prepared in Newcomb will have Lysol added to make up at least 5% of the ingredients. This change in recipe will have multiple effects. Firstly, it should kill off any traces of COVID within the food. In addition, food poisoning should sharply decrease as this will properly clean the food for once. Finally, this should improve the overall taste of the food as even the taste of bleach is better than whatever they put into their burgers.
2.) Evidence has shown that the main cause of COVID on campus is first-years refusing to wash their hands or take showers. As such, all first-years are henceforth banned from leaving their dorms without first going through an extensive decontamination process. This will include (but is not limited to) a quick spray with a hose and a brief lesson on deodorant by RAs.
3.) Masking should also be mandatory in all classes regardless of COVID exposure. This may be relatively inconsequential for those who have had no contact with the virus but at least the rest of us won’t have to smell your coffee breath or see the second-years’ attempts at “facial hair.”
4.) Steps must also be taken to combat the number one way that COVID spreads: Streaking the Lawn. Due to the copious amounts of alcohol required to do this, coupled with it being the first time in four years that most streakers have run, streaking often leads to large amounts of sweat, vomit, and other bodily fluids being spread over the lawn. As these fluids are the primary method of COVID’s spreading, campus security will be handing out see-through hazmat suits required for all streakers.
In all seriousness, while not as deadly as it once was, hundreds of UVA students can attest to COVID still sucking. This variant starts primarily with a sore throat that progresses into congestion and coughing. If you feel any of these symptoms, especially the early sore throat, get tested. UVA offers free and quick COVID testing for students, and that is the first step in protecting those around you.
Don’t be the guy who hides a zombie bite. If you have COVID stay home and let your professors know you cannot go to class. They will be understanding and you can spend that time resting and recovering.
Wear a mask so your roommate can stay healthy and if your roommate is sick offer to grab food or run to the store for them so they don’t have to risk spreading COVID to those around them.
The bottom line with COVID is don’t be a jerk. If you’re sick, do everything you can to avoid getting others sick. If someone you care about is sick, ask them if there is anything you can do to help them feel better, or even just give them a call so they don’t have to feel totally isolated. If you are reading this, then you are probably a UVA student, and if you are smart enough to get into UVA you are definitely smart enough to deal with a virus that we’ve all been living in for almost four years.
The opinions expressed within this piece represent the views of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jefferson Independent.