Please don’t make me go home

Charlie Gstalder is the
Opinions and Editorials
for the Newswire. Charlie is an English and philosophy double major from Westchester, N.Y.
written by: charlie gstalder

To any first-years reading this, welcome to Xavier, and to everyone else, welcome back. We’ve been given a gift in being allowed to return, a gift we can easily squander. 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the state’s flagship campus, announced that it would move to an entirely online format this week. The announcement came after 135 of UNC’s students tested positive for COVID-19. The positive tests were composed of four clusters. A virus cluster is defined as five or more positive cases within close proximity to each other. 

Similarly, the University of Notre Dame announced they would cease in person classes following 147 positive cases. Both announcements came eight days into the fall semester. 

While UNC and Notre Dame are schools with significantly more students than Xavier, what happened there can and will happen at Xavier. We will have cases. We will be sent home. Unless we can make some sacrifices. 

Below are a list of actions we must take lest we want to be sent home. 

Wear a mask, preferably one without vents.

Don’t take off your mask in public.

Don’t pull your mask away from your face to speak or yell. It must be snug on your face, over your nose and under your chin. 

Cover your nose with your mask. COVID-19 can still spread through your nose. 

Don’t eat indoors. It does not matter that Ohio allows indoor dining or that Xavier allows it. Studies have shown COVID-19 spreads easily during indoor dining. Both Rhode Island and Michigan saw cases increase following the opening of indoor dining and cases decrease following the prohibition of indoor dining. 

Don’t go to bars. For the same reasons you should not eat indoors at Currito or Canes, you should not be inside Listermans or Dana’s. 

Don’t go to parties. Yes, that includes outdoor parties. No gatherings of more than 10 people are remotely safe. 

Don’t have random hookups. If you do choose to have casual sex, wear a mask, use a condom and don’t be face to face.

Please open windows whenever possible. The more air cirulation, the safer a room is. If possible, run at least one fan in your room. 

Please stay at least six feet apart from other people, even if you are outside, even if you are masked and even if you have hung out with them before. 

Do not share juuls, or drinks, or cigs, or pens or joints. This should be obvious.

Wash your masks regularly. Masks can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Not COVID-19, but still not fun. 

Do all of these rules suck? Absolutely. You know what would suck more? Going home and spending day and night in your childhood bedroom for another six months. Sharing a room with your little brother and dealing with parents who won’t let you drink. Being miles away from all of your friends. Needing to Zoom for every single class. Being hospitalized, or intubated or dying. Being the reason you need to bury a loved one. 

Everything sucks right now. Wear a mask, be smart and lets make this suck a little bit less.