Staying Safe During the Fall 2020 Semester and Onward
June 12, 2020
With some universities returning to in-person classes in the Fall, how can grad students do their best to stay safe and healthy?
The university that I'm attending for graduate school just announced that they plan to hold in-person graduate classes this Fall semester, and they're still figuring out how to go about undergraduate classes. With many students, both graduate and undergraduate, though I'll be focusing on grad students, returning to campuses nationwide, how can we continue to do our best to stay safe and healthy amidst Covid-19?
As I began thinking of ways to keep myself as (hopefully) healthy as possible when returning to a new campus, I immediately began to think of keeping my immediate objects and living spaces clean and disinfected. Throughout the past few months, news sources and the CDC have reported that keeping surfaces and objects you use daily and take with you everywhere disinfected is beneficial. That being said, students may do well to continue this; keep Lysol or disinfectant wipes in your apartment or house to wipe down items like your wallet, purse, or phone every time you enter your place. Keeping small objects for every day use clean can go a long way.
This tactic is one I began to implement before the Corona Virus hit super hard. While I was in Texas for a writing conference in mid March, I carried a bottle of hand sanitizer with me everywhere. I gave my hands a squirt every so often to keep myself feeling clean, and I continue doing this at work this summer. Since many students will be traveling all over campus and cities and towns, keeping bottles of sanitizer handy can do no harm. Keep one in your back pocket, one in your car, one in your backpack, etc. Use them often, too!
This last idea I came up with applies mostly to English grad students, but a variation can be applied to any student as well. This idea is that for graduate teaching assistants, those grad students teaching undergraduate classes as well, it may be a good idea to wipe down students' desks before classes, or even have wipes there for them to clean the desks themselves. This method of cleaning the desks before each use will definitely help to minimize the spread of any sort of sickness. Another version of this may be for students to carry around their own wipes and clean their own chairs and surfaces before starting class, which has the same effects. Either way, both of these options can serve to protect many students.
There are many ways students can keep themselves safe and healthy even while in classes on campuses. Of course, students should continue to wear face masks when outside, especially around campus, and wash their hands quite often. Remember, be smart when you go back, and keep yourself safe.
Want to become a Noodle contributor? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org