Globe’s Point: We all must be flexible

As we return to campus amid record high COVID-19 numbers, we must all be willing to be flexible with whatever the university decides to do. It’s no secret that many members of the university community believed that we should have spent some time online after break, but that isn’t going to happen. We, as a community, must be flexible and caring for each other. If you test positive, let people know. If you’re feeling sick, let people know. If someone tells you they tested positive, rather than being upset with them for potentially exposing you, be understanding.

We must also acknowledge that people are going to get COVID-19. This is by no means a positive thing, or even a neutral thing. It isn’t that “we’re all going to get it and you have to accept it.” What it actually is is that, within the context of the current case numbers and ongoing variants, people getting exposed and infected is an inevitability we must be prepared for.

Therefore, the University administration and faculty must be flexible and understanding. If there are exposures in class, then the people in that class need to know. If there is a major outbreak on campus, then we must be willing to temporarily move to online learning. The university must provide proper testing to everyone, throughout the entirety of this semester, not just students who are symptomatic.

There’s also a big thing that everyone needs to do: if you are positive, you need to quarantine. If a professor tells you that you need to come to class in person even if you don’t feel comfortable after a potential exposure, you need to say something about that.

We need to accept that we do not know what the future holds for the pandemic. There’s a variety of things that can happen, and no matter what we need to be flexible.

Lastly, we must be understanding of everyone. The understandable desire for a return to normal cannot overrule a logistical need for the safety of the student body. We know that everyone is sick of COVID-19. But that does not change the fact that it is better to be sick of COVID-19 than sick with COVID-19.