Colleges shouldn’t open for in-person learning this fall. Although this is an unpopular opinion and all college students would argue that it’s wrong, to me, it is the truth. 

There is always a high that comes when back to school season starts. High school students wonder how to reinvent or redefine themselves as the new school year starts. College students gaze around their campuses waiting for a sign from a supernatural force to tell them what career to follow or even just to tell them everything is okay. But this year emotions are even more heightened with greater uncertainty. 

This is the year of COVID-19, coronavirus, or “The Kung Flu” as Donald Trump says. I have a different name for it though; I would call it the year to reset. This pandemic has given us the opportunity to change our lifestyles and priorities. It is giving the world the time it needs to reset and focus on what really matters. Unlike normal school years, this year has a different effect on each age group. For high schoolers at my school, normally it’s the ability to make long-lasting connections with others, to the middle schoolers it’s usually the chance to find that one person who will dance with you at the 8th-grade dance, to parents it’s the education for their children. In a typical year, the biggest adjustment is for college students. They are slowly escaping the four walls that have provided them comfort for 18 years, but not everyone is getting out very easy this year. 

My sister, Ella, is an 18-year-old who planned on heading off to college when in the middle of July her 2020 fall semester got moved online. At first, it was fine, my mom and I spent countless conversations convincing her that all of her high school friends would be home with her as well. In all honesty, that is what we thought would happen with cornavirus cases rising and new restrictions being placed on us weekly. How would these colleges allow students to return amidst a global pandemic?

That was not the case. As the time neared we started to realize that more and more colleges were going back in person. The list ranged from University of Alabama, Penn State, Syracuse, Emory, Tulane, JMU and many more. This left Ella stranded at home amidst a pandemic while her friends started their freshman year in college like normal. 

“They’ll be back at home in two weeks” my mom now says to her, but I look at the statistics and question the truth of that statement. University of North Carolina has suspended their athletic season after more than 130 students were hit with Covid-19. Syracuse is having parties on their dorm lawns with hundreds of kids drinking and socializing. There are 217 cases at the University of Florida, 167 at the University of Pennsylvania, 101 at UCLA, and 80 at Georgetown University. Yet all of these colleges are still open and in person. 

This makes one wonder if Covid-19 is still a threat. The statistics show that it is, and cases are rising daily all across the world.  July 17, 2020, a little more than a month ago, was when there were the most new daily cases. Even if they are still on a downhill path, the cases have been spiking day to day. COVID-19 is still present and worse now than it was in the spring when schools closed due to the cases which were nearly half. If the Coronavirus is still a threat, why are the major colleges ignoring the facts and letting the cases rise?

There is no way for all campuses to control the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country.