By Lauren Chavez, Jan. 25, 2022

As someone who takes the pandemic seriously with extreme caution and consideration for others, it boils my blood to experience how the business industry, as well as schools, have clearly shown how they feel. These industries and institutions do not care for the general public’s well-being.  

It is unethical for Cal Poly Pomona to have in-person classes so soon. The Fall 2021 semester allowed the university to use a hybrid approach where students would be both on-campus and off-campus to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Now that Omicron is surging with a seven day daily average of 17.78% confirmed positive tests, going completely in-person as early as February is not the safest option.  

Justin Oo | The Poly Post

Before Dec. 24, 2021, I never personally knew anyone who had tested positive for COVID-19 and all those who were close to me respected the mask mandate. I never thought I would have to worry about contracting the virus through a family member or a close friend. Despite the year and a half of precautions, a family member tested positive following an intimate Christmas gathering.  

I honestly find the response from individuals that I trusted to be responsible shocking as they refuse to wear a mask, reject vaccination, and the overall neglect for public health.  

Yet, we continue to hear that the variant Omicron is just “a bad cold” and that we should continue our lives. From my experience testing positive as a healthy, fully vaccinated individual, it did feel that way. However, what about those who have a compromised immune system or a religious exemption? Is your inconvenience worth putting those lives at risk? 

This growing attitude coupled with the overwhelming positive tests the United States collected from Omicron means it was difficult for business practices to keep up with their day-to-day tasks due to a limited number of staff from the virus. Now that the CDC guidelines have been updated to shorten isolation for those vaccinated, it leaves employers the potential risk of exposure to their other employees.  

Hearing from friends and family members that their job is on the line if they do not attend work even with a positive result is disheartening.  

Not only do people have to face the risk of contracting the virus at work, but these issues bleed directly into our schools. Luckily for me, I work from home and did not have to worry so much about passing on my sickness to co-workers for them to take it home to their families. However, I have three other roommates with one whom I share a bed with. They voiced their concerns on COVID-19 throughout these past two years and despite our precautions, their fear came true when I contracted the virus. This situation severely impacted our relationship and their anxiety remains at an all-time high. 

In the event Cal Poly Pomona returns to in-person classes after Feb. 12, COVID-19 testing will be available on a weekly basis by appointment and by Feb. 28, students and staff will have had to upload proof of their booster vaccination. If vaccinations are still needed, Cal Poly Pomona will be holding a vaccine clinic on Jan. 25 and Feb. 15, where anyone can receive their vaccine, not just students. Although this is great news for the community, it does not reassure safety in the classroom. 

These steps to ensure safety across the campus community are a start, but it is still not enough as Omicron is highly contagious and social distancing is not possible in a room filled with students.  

Take it from me, contracting the virus is a frightening situation and should not be taken lightly. Just because it was a bad cold for you does not mean it will be the same for somebody else. The university should hold classes online for the rest of the Spring semester. Students should feel safe before they are expected to be on campus. Students deserve better options.  

 

 

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