Kirkwood Community College has taken many steps to lessen the chances of students and employees contracting COVID-19, like closing campus from March to August, requiring students to use masks while on campus, cleaning their work spaces before and after class and canceling spring break. However, the college also needs to make adjustments to one other common practice – assigning group project work outside of class.
This semester, I was assigned a group project and I spent several hours in my classmate’s presence outside of class. I used a face mask the entire time he did not.
About a week and half later he told me that his friend, who he had hung out with over the weekend before we worked our project, was now sick with COVID-19. He said he didn’t think it was that bad because his friend wasn’t that sick.
My experience with COVID-19 has been much different. It almost killed my dad this summer and now I was potentially unknowingly exposing my dad to it all over again. I have friends and family who work in health care that have all been under terrible amounts of stress because of this world-wide pandemic.
If students won’t take the initiative to protect others around them, then Kirkwood’s instructors need to say no more group projects until there is a vaccine.
I had to pay out of my own pocket for a rapid test before I felt safe to go home. And honestly by then the damage had already been done. If I had tested positive for it, it would had been too late. I could have killed my dad. It was something my classmate didn’t seem to understand. Just because COVID-19 isn’t that bad for a healthy 18-year-old doesn’t mean that it won’t kill your classmate’s 91-year-old grandma, or a very sick father, or that random lady at the supermarket you spread germs to because you coughed on your hands and then touched a freezer door.
To all students – if you have to do a project, follow social distance guidelines:
- Stay six feet apart
- Use masks
- Wash hands often
- Don’t share pens or pencils
- Cancel plans when sick
- Use Zoom for activities like game night when you are sick so you don’t spread your illness
- Remember during a pandemic sharing is not caring!