Middlesex County College announced on March 27 that all classes will be remote for the rest of the semester. While I acknowledge this was a tough choice to make, it is easily the right one. As someone who has a family member that is immunocompromised, I was hoping for weeks that they would cancel for the rest of the semester.
I understand that some students wanted to go back as quickly as possible to maintain their routines. However, with the situation going on outside, this may have been a disaster. If even one student got sick from coming back to campus, there would have been an outrage from parents and students alike. The amount of effort it would have taken to get every student and staff member tested wasn’t worth returning to school.
If MCC had decided to reopen, I personally wouldn’t have gone. While I am not concerned about getting coronavirus (COVID-19) myself, I am worried about giving it to family or friends. If I accidentally passed COVID-19 on to an immunocompromised person, the guilt would eat me alive. As it is, my household is taking extra precautions because my father has an extra risk of complications and even dying from it if he were to contract COVID-19. Reopening campus would have been irresponsible and I am happy they decided against it.
Another decision the college made that I wholeheartedly agree with was to cancel the commencement ceremony. While this is a major bummer, going to commencement is a huge health risk. We don’t know when this virus will go away. Cancelling now and enabling refunds was the correct decision. If they had waited until the last minute, the whole situation would probably have gotten worse.
Some of my friends are disappointed. I see where they are coming from, but I disagree. Until you have someone in your immediate family as compromised as my father is, you might not understand how scary COVID-19 really is. A stray cough or sneeze might be enough for me or someone else to give it to my dad. That alone might kill him.
While I do sympathize with the college students who want to graduate or the high school kids who want to go to prom, I respectfully think that worrying about these things right now is being ignorant. We have a pandemic unlike anything in history going on right now. It is not the time to worry about trivial things like senior trips or going on spring break vacation. We should be banding together as a society and helping out in any way we can. Whether that is donating money to charities, giving supplies to hospitals or working at essential jobs, everyone can play a part in stopping this disease.