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UNF Spinnaker

Concern and relief as students return to campus during the pandemic

Omar Aftab, Reporter

Featured Image via Unsplash/Philips Jacobe

Much has changed since the last time most UNF students stepped foot on campus. COVID-19 has ravaged the world and changed how everyone looks at safety, social behavior, and public space. Now, classes will be back in full swing this fall semester with just a ‘strong expectation’ for mask-wearing, and no social distancing, despite COVID-19 cases at an all-time high in Florida.

As everything is attempting to go back to normal, it’s no surprise that some students are scared for their own safety.

Spinnaker spoke with Tamila Darvishi, a senior at UNF, who says she believes masks should be required on campus. Darvishi works at the Baptist Medical Center and says she has seen a spike in patients with COVID-19 recently. 

“I see it every time I go there,” says Darvishi. “All the rooms are filled; they’re even doing double patients per room. It’s crazy.”

Darvishi says she plans to wear a mask regardless of the new rule and trusts that those close to her will as well. While frustrated with how hastily things are returning to normal despite the danger, she, like many others, is also excited to be back on campus after over a year of online classes.

“I’m excited to go back because it’s more motivating,” she says. “The whole COVID thing has negatively affected my learning.” 

Photo via AP/Marta Lavandier.

According to The New York Times, daily COVID-19 cases in the US have been skyrocketing since July  2021. On January 8, there were over 300,000 new cases nationally, and by June 18 that number had dropped to 12,700. 

Since then the number has steadily climbed up, with August 11 totaling more than 155,000 cases alone. 

In Florida, this has been more extreme. The New York Times reports that in January, there were a large number of COVID-19 cases, with January 8 having over 19,000 new cases, and a seven-day average of around 18,000. This was the highest number of cases in Florida at the time. 

Over the course of the past two months, cases have spiked up to unprecedented numbers. The seven-day average had hit a low of about 1,500 new cases a day in mid-June. Since then, cases have been on the rise. On August 11, there were a total of 24,753 cases alone.

The future is uncertain as students return to campus. Excitement is mixing with the fear of an ever-watching pandemic, but time will tell how the Fall semester will go. 

Stay up to date on the weekly UNF COVID-19 cases here.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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