Meredith College students, faculty and staff have returned to almost fully in-person classes this semester. While the return to the pre-pandemic college experience may give relief for some students, others feel uneasy about sitting in a classroom surrounded by many students who may not share the same concerns over COVID-19 safety.
Before the semester started, Meredith’s Executive Leadership Team announced that vaccinations will be encouraged but not required for students, faculty and staff. Those who wish not to receive the vaccine must be tested each week and get cleared by the Health Center.
Things are not back to normal just yet as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is a concern to the CDC and College officials. This variant is highly contagious and more severe than the normal strain of COVID-19. The CDC also announced that while the vaccines are proven effective, there is still a chance to become infected with the virus. In North Carolina, most of the new cases are from the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Madison Helton, ‘25, said she enjoys having in person classes because it was difficult to learn and comprehend information in an online setting. "Online classes felt like watching YouTube videos instead of learning. During in-person classes, I am more focused and it is [much] easier to connect with professors and other classmates," Helton said. "As long as [the Meredith community] takes precautions to ensure that the virus does not spread, I think in person classes should continue."
For other students, like Kiran Kapur, ‘22, returning to in-person classes causes a significant amount of anxiety. “I am scared for the people who are not vaccinated as they could really suffer if they become infected," Kapur said. "I know that if I get the virus, I will likely recover quickly since I am vaccinated and take the proper precautions.”
Regardless of which learning environment is used at Meredith, continuing to practice proper health and safety measures like wearing a face mask indoors can ensure a safe transition back to normal and keep the case count low.
By Rania Abushakra, Staff Writer