OPINION: Pandemic partying poses major threat, interrupts normal student life

OPINION: Pandemic partying poses major threat, interrupts normal student life

Although partying can be a fun part of college, attending parties is unsafe and irresponsible during the current pandemic. Students at Kennesaw State should avoid parties until the threat of COVID-19 has become less imminent.

Many college students who might get the virus are likely to be asymptomatic. However, they could still spread the virus to other individuals who may be more vulnerable, according to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. By staying away from large gatherings, students are protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.

“Partying breaks social distancing,” junior exercise science major Jennifer Nealer said. “If one person has antibodies, they could be passing it on to other people, you know what I mean? If you’re around a lot of people, you put them at risk.”

Many people are at high risk for COVID-19 and might even be unaware. It may be difficult to tell at first glance which members of the population are likely to become seriously ill from the coronavirus.

Individuals who have suffered from cancer, sickle cell disease, and diabetes are at risk — among other individuals — according to the CDC. Because it is sometimes impossible to know if someone suffers a chronic illness just by looking at them, it is better to err on the side of caution and stay away from that party.

In addition to protecting others, it is also important for students to protect themselves. Although many people have asymptomatic or mild cases of the coronavirus, in some cases, the illness is brutal and severe. One COVID-19 patient from Massachusetts was intubated for eight days and took three more days to regain lucidity, according to Boston’s NPR station. Another was intubated for twenty-one days and experienced hallucinations.

In addition to the temporary complications, many people who get COVID-19 suffer permanent health problems, such as heart damage and the persistent loss of their sense of smell, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Because seemingly healthy patients can get so gravely ill, students should stay on the safe side by staying home from parties. Nobody wants to spend three weeks in the hospital, fighting for their lives and experiencing hallucinations and delusions. One of the easiest ways to avoid falling ill is avoiding large gatherings, including parties on and off-campus.

Students who attend parties are doing more than just endangering themselves — they are endangering more vulnerable community members. Many students are placing themselves in direct contact with essential workers who cannot afford to miss work.

It will take a year or more for many activities to return to normal, according to the World Economic Forum. Some experts believe that life will never be the same again.

This is a scary thought, but with everyone’s combined effort, life can return to normal faster. College students are a huge percentage of the population — around 18 million, according to the US Census Bureau — and the virus will disappear a little faster for every student who stays home from parties. College parties have shown to cause spikes in cases and outbreaks on campus, according to WMC Action News.

Everyone has the opportunity to be a part of flattening the curve. To fast-track the return of normalcy, it is important to stay away from large gatherings and maintain social distancing — this includes avoiding parties. Students who want the world to go back to normal should stay away from parties during the threat of COVID-19.

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