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再小心也无法阻止感染,美国高校疫情形势严峻

再小心也无法阻止感染,美国高校疫情形势严峻

SY MUKHERJEE 2020年09月23日
美国高校正在艰难应对新冠肺炎疫情,因此学子们将以一种非常奇怪的状态上课。

在公共健康危机期间,即便高校制定最完善的计划也难保万无一失。

高校管理者告诉《财富》杂志,他们正在竭尽全力保证公众的安全。但在阿拉巴马大学(University of Alabama)等8月已经恢复课堂授课的高校中,确诊病例大幅增加。截至9月10日,高校共报告近2,600例新冠肺炎确诊案例。

大学开学第一周本应该是庆祝的时刻,是学生们开启人生新篇章的时刻,但美国高校正在艰难应对新冠疫情,因此学子们将以一种非常奇怪的状态接受高等教育。

学生要面对物流运输的问题,还要考虑下游社会影响。从接受《财富》杂志采访的学生和学校管理者的话中可以看出,美国各地不同学校应对新冠疫情的方式千差万别。

医生兼健康政策研究员阿希士•杰哈曾经担任哈佛大学全球健康研究所(Harvard Global Health Institute)的所长。他告诉《财富》杂志:“我在哈佛大学全球健康研究所工作了16年,最近前往布朗大学公共健康学院任院长。”

因此,杰哈可以从独特的视角来看待这个问题。他是公共健康专家和专业医生,同时也是一位流行病学专家,一直在批评美国应对新冠疫情的做法。作为一所高校的院系负责人,对于在这个异常时期哪些政策行之有效,哪些措施不可行,他很有发言权。

他告诉《财富》杂志:“我认为每一所高校都会出现一些病例,甚至可能爆发疫情。问题是:疫情的严重程度较小,能够得到控制,使学校可以继续运行,还是校园必须关闭,改为无限期的网上授课?”

有一个问题:虽然在疫情期间,政客和高校管理者都在依靠个人的责任心来控制病毒传播,但高校不可能将个人的责任心作为保证安全的唯一途径。

杰哈指出:“问题在于许多高校单纯依靠学生的行为改变,却没有重视高校自身的责任。”

当高校周边社区的新冠肺炎确诊病例激增时,比如华盛顿州立大学(Washington State University)周边的爱荷华州约翰逊县以及奥本大学(Auburn University)所在的阿拉巴马县等,学校的应对方式和对于公共健康措施的落实力度不同,会产生截然不同的结果,既有可能造成新的局部疫情大爆发,也可能创造一种人们不太习惯但可以保证安全的全新学习方式。

各式各样的检测策略

尼克在几周前来到科罗拉多大学博尔德分校(University of Colorado at Boulder),在此之前他甚至没有机会参观校园;在家乡纽约市疫情最严重的时候,他的校园参观计划彻底泡汤。18岁的尼克是大一新生,他只能把自己的大量物品邮寄到学校。为了保护隐私,他要求隐去全名。

在出发去学校之前,尼克在纽约市的一家CityMD接受了鼻拭子新冠病毒检测。他告诉检测人员自己是学生,因此他在坐飞机前两天内就很快拿到了检测结果。

8月31日,他在校内再次接受了检测,使用的是科罗拉多大学的实验室自行开发的专有新冠病毒检测方法。这种名为RT-LAMP的检测方法只需要将唾液吐进试管即可,45分钟内就能够拿到检测结果,可以轻松检测出无症状感染者。如果有家庭成员或访客帮助学生入校,他们要遵守一系列单独的限制措施,例如大厅仅允许一名访客进入,并且必须在规定时间之前离开等。

学生搬进宿舍之后还要接受PCR检测,这种检测耗费的时间更长,但能够更准确地识别活动性感染者。该校发言人表示,如果学生的快速响应检测结果呈阳性,在拿到PCR检测结果之前,他将被转移到隔离设施内接受隔离。学校建议在校外居住但需要来到校园的学生,一旦出现任何症状,应该前往健康诊所接受免费检测。

发言人称,该校的新冠疫情实时信息告示牌,是控制新冠病毒传播和向学生团体及时通报信息的有效途径。

该校还使用另外一项新技术进行疫情监控:废水监测。顾名思义,这种技术通过检测废水来监控社区层面的新冠病毒流行情况。

该校的检测结果表明,即使执行了严格的检测和安全要求,要控制疫情爆发依旧很难。9月2日发布的监测信息显示,科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的四间宿舍可能出现了传染,使校内的确诊病例达到近40例。

该校的助理副校长丹•琼斯在9月2日致信全体学生,警告未来几周确诊病例可能激增。他写道:“学校能否维持正常运营的关键就在未来几天。我们必须继续遵守公共健康命令,避免大规模人群聚集,一定要佩戴口罩和保持距离。”

在那之后,情况变得越来越糟糕。尽管科罗拉多大学博尔德分校采取了各种创新措施,但9月15日,博尔德县公共健康局(Boulder County Public Health)的常务局长杰弗瑞•扎亚赫呼吁该校所有学生自我隔离两周。

他写道:“博尔德县公共健康局一直在密切监控科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的学生和教职员工的病例数量和疫情传播情况。过去两周,博尔德县有663位居民新冠病毒检测呈阳性;其中502位居民与该校的学生有关(占所有病例的76%)。科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的大部分病例都来自在校外居住的学生。”

其他学校的疫情防控措施更多依靠学生自己完成检测。在南加利福尼亚的查普曼大学(Chapman University),学生需要自己执行鼻拭子检测,然后将样本发送给与诊断巨头LabCorp合作的商业实验室。

查普曼大学的校长丹尼尔•斯特鲁帕告诉《财富》杂志:“我们在8月初就公布了返校流程。无论是教职员工还是学生,所有人都必须接受学校提供的在线培训,培训中解释了各种防护措施,告诉所有人应该怎么做。任何人必须证明参加了培训,才能获准返校。”

该校的合作伙伴是LabCorp旗下的Pixel。Pixel从事邮寄式居家诊断检测。学校称新冠病毒检测对学生免费。斯特鲁帕说:“首先你需要注册。然后,Pixel会给你寄一份检测试剂。其中包括一个预付邮费的联邦快递(FedEx)包裹,你可以使用它寄回样本。”

在校外居住并且不打算到校园参观访友的人不必接受检测。虽然斯特鲁帕强调学校一直在尽早向人们传达校方的预期,但该校的二年级学生艾玛•布朗表示,她依旧有一些困扰。

21岁的布朗说:“我有些不太确定学校的规定。学校在暑假给我们发来电子邮件,表示将采取混合授课的方式,有些可能是虚拟授课,有些是面对面授课。在校园建筑内需要接受体检和保持社交距离。”

目前学校所有课程都采取了网上授课的方式,但布朗怀疑是否有一天能够真正采取混合授课的模式。

还有一个始终存在的问题,那就是LabCorp的病毒检测需要多长时间才可以出结果。该公司表示,目前检测需要的平均时间为24至48个小时。

康涅狄格州卫斯理安大学(Wesleyan University)的萨曼塔•黑格有自己的困惑:“在返校之前,学校的管理者不知道该怎么做。他们给我们提供了各种推迟整个学期的方案。我们可以在家里或者在宿舍里远程上课。”

卫斯理安大学还曾经研究是否有学生来自疫情高风险地区;这些地区的学生需要在开课前提前两周到校,进行自我隔离。来自低风险地区的学生要在开课前提前一周到校。

黑格从布鲁克林前往学校之前接受了一次检测,但到校后被要求再接受一次检测:“我立刻前往进行检测的帐篷,因为我必须完成检测才能够领到宿舍的钥匙。”这两次检测都是鼻拭子检测,只是在校园做的检测由自己操作。她并非来自高风险地区,因此只需要隔离到9月7日。

在部分学生眼中,高校校园文化发生了显著变化

众所周知,大学生喜欢成群结队在学校里闲逛,偶尔会参加派对。在教室里面对面上课,也是一种社交方式。

科罗拉多大学的尼克说:“我可以听到外面有人在叫喊。学校里派对盛行,但现在我不再参加派对。”他只能邀请自己宿舍楼里的同学到自己房间。

他的六门课中,有五门全部采用虚拟授课。第六门可以选择课堂授课,但需要保持距离。这带来了一个难题——如果教授的Wi-Fi掉线怎么办?学生们可能不愿意等着教授解决技术故障。

查普曼大学的二年级学生布朗说:“我很高兴自己现在已经不是一年级新生,因为我不想错过住宿舍的经历。现在我跟女朋友住在一间公寓里。但整天待在公寓里,同样让人感到与世隔绝。你很难交到新朋友。”

黑格说,在卫斯理安大学里的生活相对平静,没有大型派对。“我听说过有两三次派对,但我没有亲眼见过。不过我加入了班级的Facebook群组,而且有许多高年级的学生一直抱怨新生到处打听派对的消息。”

对于美国近2,000万大学生来说,这个学期才刚刚开始。目前,疫情的形势仍然在不断变化,即使最谨慎的高校也不能放松警惕。高校如何应对这种局面,将决定未来几周或者几个月,美国是否会出现新一轮疫情大爆发。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

在公共健康危机期间,即便高校制定最完善的计划也难保万无一失。

高校管理者告诉《财富》杂志,他们正在竭尽全力保证公众的安全。但在阿拉巴马大学(University of Alabama)等8月已经恢复课堂授课的高校中,确诊病例大幅增加。截至9月10日,高校共报告近2,600例新冠肺炎确诊案例。

大学开学第一周本应该是庆祝的时刻,是学生们开启人生新篇章的时刻,但美国高校正在艰难应对新冠疫情,因此学子们将以一种非常奇怪的状态接受高等教育。

学生要面对物流运输的问题,还要考虑下游社会影响。从接受《财富》杂志采访的学生和学校管理者的话中可以看出,美国各地不同学校应对新冠疫情的方式千差万别。

医生兼健康政策研究员阿希士•杰哈曾经担任哈佛大学全球健康研究所(Harvard Global Health Institute)的所长。他告诉《财富》杂志:“我在哈佛大学全球健康研究所工作了16年,最近前往布朗大学公共健康学院任院长。”

因此,杰哈可以从独特的视角来看待这个问题。他是公共健康专家和专业医生,同时也是一位流行病学专家,一直在批评美国应对新冠疫情的做法。作为一所高校的院系负责人,对于在这个异常时期哪些政策行之有效,哪些措施不可行,他很有发言权。

他告诉《财富》杂志:“我认为每一所高校都会出现一些病例,甚至可能爆发疫情。问题是:疫情的严重程度较小,能够得到控制,使学校可以继续运行,还是校园必须关闭,改为无限期的网上授课?”

有一个问题:虽然在疫情期间,政客和高校管理者都在依靠个人的责任心来控制病毒传播,但高校不可能将个人的责任心作为保证安全的唯一途径。

杰哈指出:“问题在于许多高校单纯依靠学生的行为改变,却没有重视高校自身的责任。”

当高校周边社区的新冠肺炎确诊病例激增时,比如华盛顿州立大学(Washington State University)周边的爱荷华州约翰逊县以及奥本大学(Auburn University)所在的阿拉巴马县等,学校的应对方式和对于公共健康措施的落实力度不同,会产生截然不同的结果,既有可能造成新的局部疫情大爆发,也可能创造一种人们不太习惯但可以保证安全的全新学习方式。

各式各样的检测策略

尼克在几周前来到科罗拉多大学博尔德分校(University of Colorado at Boulder),在此之前他甚至没有机会参观校园;在家乡纽约市疫情最严重的时候,他的校园参观计划彻底泡汤。18岁的尼克是大一新生,他只能把自己的大量物品邮寄到学校。为了保护隐私,他要求隐去全名。

在出发去学校之前,尼克在纽约市的一家CityMD接受了鼻拭子新冠病毒检测。他告诉检测人员自己是学生,因此他在坐飞机前两天内就很快拿到了检测结果。

8月31日,他在校内再次接受了检测,使用的是科罗拉多大学的实验室自行开发的专有新冠病毒检测方法。这种名为RT-LAMP的检测方法只需要将唾液吐进试管即可,45分钟内就能够拿到检测结果,可以轻松检测出无症状感染者。如果有家庭成员或访客帮助学生入校,他们要遵守一系列单独的限制措施,例如大厅仅允许一名访客进入,并且必须在规定时间之前离开等。

学生搬进宿舍之后还要接受PCR检测,这种检测耗费的时间更长,但能够更准确地识别活动性感染者。该校发言人表示,如果学生的快速响应检测结果呈阳性,在拿到PCR检测结果之前,他将被转移到隔离设施内接受隔离。学校建议在校外居住但需要来到校园的学生,一旦出现任何症状,应该前往健康诊所接受免费检测。

发言人称,该校的新冠疫情实时信息告示牌,是控制新冠病毒传播和向学生团体及时通报信息的有效途径。

该校还使用另外一项新技术进行疫情监控:废水监测。顾名思义,这种技术通过检测废水来监控社区层面的新冠病毒流行情况。

该校的检测结果表明,即使执行了严格的检测和安全要求,要控制疫情爆发依旧很难。9月2日发布的监测信息显示,科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的四间宿舍可能出现了传染,使校内的确诊病例达到近40例。

该校的助理副校长丹•琼斯在9月2日致信全体学生,警告未来几周确诊病例可能激增。他写道:“学校能否维持正常运营的关键就在未来几天。我们必须继续遵守公共健康命令,避免大规模人群聚集,一定要佩戴口罩和保持距离。”

在那之后,情况变得越来越糟糕。尽管科罗拉多大学博尔德分校采取了各种创新措施,但9月15日,博尔德县公共健康局(Boulder County Public Health)的常务局长杰弗瑞•扎亚赫呼吁该校所有学生自我隔离两周。

他写道:“博尔德县公共健康局一直在密切监控科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的学生和教职员工的病例数量和疫情传播情况。过去两周,博尔德县有663位居民新冠病毒检测呈阳性;其中502位居民与该校的学生有关(占所有病例的76%)。科罗拉多大学博尔德分校的大部分病例都来自在校外居住的学生。”

其他学校的疫情防控措施更多依靠学生自己完成检测。在南加利福尼亚的查普曼大学(Chapman University),学生需要自己执行鼻拭子检测,然后将样本发送给与诊断巨头LabCorp合作的商业实验室。

查普曼大学的校长丹尼尔•斯特鲁帕告诉《财富》杂志:“我们在8月初就公布了返校流程。无论是教职员工还是学生,所有人都必须接受学校提供的在线培训,培训中解释了各种防护措施,告诉所有人应该怎么做。任何人必须证明参加了培训,才能获准返校。”

该校的合作伙伴是LabCorp旗下的Pixel。Pixel从事邮寄式居家诊断检测。学校称新冠病毒检测对学生免费。斯特鲁帕说:“首先你需要注册。然后,Pixel会给你寄一份检测试剂。其中包括一个预付邮费的联邦快递(FedEx)包裹,你可以使用它寄回样本。”

在校外居住并且不打算到校园参观访友的人不必接受检测。虽然斯特鲁帕强调学校一直在尽早向人们传达校方的预期,但该校的二年级学生艾玛•布朗表示,她依旧有一些困扰。

21岁的布朗说:“我有些不太确定学校的规定。学校在暑假给我们发来电子邮件,表示将采取混合授课的方式,有些可能是虚拟授课,有些是面对面授课。在校园建筑内需要接受体检和保持社交距离。”

目前学校所有课程都采取了网上授课的方式,但布朗怀疑是否有一天能够真正采取混合授课的模式。

还有一个始终存在的问题,那就是LabCorp的病毒检测需要多长时间才可以出结果。该公司表示,目前检测需要的平均时间为24至48个小时。

康涅狄格州卫斯理安大学(Wesleyan University)的萨曼塔•黑格有自己的困惑:“在返校之前,学校的管理者不知道该怎么做。他们给我们提供了各种推迟整个学期的方案。我们可以在家里或者在宿舍里远程上课。”

卫斯理安大学还曾经研究是否有学生来自疫情高风险地区;这些地区的学生需要在开课前提前两周到校,进行自我隔离。来自低风险地区的学生要在开课前提前一周到校。

黑格从布鲁克林前往学校之前接受了一次检测,但到校后被要求再接受一次检测:“我立刻前往进行检测的帐篷,因为我必须完成检测才能够领到宿舍的钥匙。”这两次检测都是鼻拭子检测,只是在校园做的检测由自己操作。她并非来自高风险地区,因此只需要隔离到9月7日。

在部分学生眼中,高校校园文化发生了显著变化

众所周知,大学生喜欢成群结队在学校里闲逛,偶尔会参加派对。在教室里面对面上课,也是一种社交方式。

科罗拉多大学的尼克说:“我可以听到外面有人在叫喊。学校里派对盛行,但现在我不再参加派对。”他只能邀请自己宿舍楼里的同学到自己房间。

他的六门课中,有五门全部采用虚拟授课。第六门可以选择课堂授课,但需要保持距离。这带来了一个难题——如果教授的Wi-Fi掉线怎么办?学生们可能不愿意等着教授解决技术故障。

查普曼大学的二年级学生布朗说:“我很高兴自己现在已经不是一年级新生,因为我不想错过住宿舍的经历。现在我跟女朋友住在一间公寓里。但整天待在公寓里,同样让人感到与世隔绝。你很难交到新朋友。”

黑格说,在卫斯理安大学里的生活相对平静,没有大型派对。“我听说过有两三次派对,但我没有亲眼见过。不过我加入了班级的Facebook群组,而且有许多高年级的学生一直抱怨新生到处打听派对的消息。”

对于美国近2,000万大学生来说,这个学期才刚刚开始。目前,疫情的形势仍然在不断变化,即使最谨慎的高校也不能放松警惕。高校如何应对这种局面,将决定未来几周或者几个月,美国是否会出现新一轮疫情大爆发。(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

The best laid plans of colleges and universities are no assurance during a public health crisis.

University administrators tell Fortune they’re doing everything they can to ensure public safety. But at schools like the University of Alabama system, which resumed in-person classes in August, cases have risen considerably. That school system has seen nearly 2,600 COVID cases across campuses as of Sept. 10.

The first week of college is supposed to be a time of celebration and the launch of the next chapter in your life, but students across America are facing a truly bizarre entry into the world of higher education as universities grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Logistical problems—and downstream social consequences for students themselves—abound. And depending on which school one attends, the processes for dealing with COVID can be wildly divergent, as evidenced by students and school administrators across the country who spoke with Fortune.

“I left the Harvard Global Health Institute after 16 years to become a dean at Brown’s public health school recently,” Ashish Jha, a physician and health policy researcher who previously served as director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, tells Fortune.

This gives Jha a unique perspective. He’s a public health expert and doctor by training—but also an expert in epidemics and critic of America’s response to the COVID crisis. And in his new role as a college dean, he can speak to what does and doesn’t work in this bizarre timeline.

“I think every college and university will see some cases and some outbreaks. The question will be: Will they be small and manageable and they can go on, or will you have to shut down and go online indefinitely?” Jha tells Fortune.

Here’s the issue: A university can’t exactly rely on personal responsibility—something that politicians and college administrators alike have played up in the midst of the pandemic—to be the single course to safety.

“The problem is that a lot of universities are acting like the only thing you can rely on is behavior change on the part of students without calling out the responsibility of the universities themselves,” says Jha.

With COVID cases spiking in communities surrounding colleges, such as Johnson County, Iowa, the area around Washington State University, and the Alabama county containing Auburn University, individual schools’ approach to and enforcement of public health measures could spell the difference between new local outbreaks and a safe, if strange, new form of learning.

Divergent testing strategies

Nick didn’t even get to visit the University of Colorado at Boulder campus before showing up there a few weeks ago; a planned trip to campus got scuttled during the outbreak’s heyday in his hometown of New York City. The 18-year-old freshman, who asked to use only his first name for privacy, had to have a lot of his belongings mailed over to campus from across the country.

Before he left for college, Nick received a coronavirus test—one of the ones requiring a nasal swab—at a CityMD location in New York. He informed them that he was a student and received results back pretty quickly, within two days, before getting on the plane.

He was tested again on campus on Aug. 31 using the University of Colorado’s own proprietary COVID test developed at a campus lab. With this test, called RT-LAMP, you can simply spit into a tube and get results within 45 minutes, an easy way to identify asymptomatic individuals. Family members or guests helping students move in face a separate set of restrictions, such as allowing only one guest to enter a hall and requiring them to vacate after a set time.

Students moving into dorms also take a so-called PCR test, which takes longer to process but is more accurate in identifying an active infection. If the rapid response test comes back positive and the PCR test result hasn’t been returned yet, the student would be put into an isolation facility, according to a university spokesperson. Those who live off campus but may need to come to campus are encouraged to go to a health clinic for free testing if they show any symptoms.

The spokesperson points to the university’s live COVID dashboard as a means of controlling coronavirus spread and keeping the student body informed.

The university is also using another novel technology to monitor cases: wastewater testing—the literal testing of waste, which can detect coronavirus prevalence on a community level.

And that has shown how difficult it can be to control COVID outbreaks even with stringent testing and safety requirements. Testing information released on Sept. 2 revealed potential outbreaks at four University of Colorado at Boulder dorms, bringing the number of confirmed on-campus cases up to nearly 40.

“The next few days will be critical to our ability to maintain our current operating status,” the university’s associate vice chancellor Dan Jones wrote in a letter to students on Sept. 2, warning that cases could spike in the coming weeks. “It is imperative that we all continue to follow public health orders, avoid large gatherings, wear masks, and practice physical distancing.”

The situation has grown more dire since then. On Sept. 15, Jeffrey Zayach, executive director of Boulder County Public Health, urged all University of Colorado at Boulder students to self-quarantine for two weeks despite the school’s innovative measures.

“Boulder County Public Health has been closely monitoring the case counts and outbreaks among students, faculty, and staff associated with the University of Colorado at Boulder campus,” he wrote. “In the past two weeks 663 Boulder County residents have tested positive for COVID-19; 502 of these residents were associated with CU students (76% of all cases). The majority of CU Boulder cases come from off-campus students.”

Other schools depend more on students to conduct tests for themselves. At Chapman University in Southern California, students are given a self-administered nasal swab test that is then sent to a commercial laboratory in a partnership with diagnostics giant LabCorp.

“We sent out the procedure at the beginning of August. Everybody—staff, faculty, and students have to take a training module that we provide online: an explanation of precautions and what you have to do. And no one is allowed back on campus until we’ve certified that they’ve taken this module,” Chapman president Daniele Struppa tells Fortune.

The school has been working with Pixel, an arm of LabCorp that specializes in mailing at-home diagnostics, and says the coronavirus tests are free of charge to students. “You have to log in. They send you this test. There’s a prepaid FedEx package that you send,” Struppa says.

Those who live off campus and don’t plan on coming back to visit campus to, say, hang out with their friends don’t have to get tested. And despite Struppa’s emphasis that the school has been in clear and early communication about expectations, Chapman senior Emma Brown says there’s still some confusion.

“I’m a little unclear on all of it. Throughout summer they were sending us e-mails suggesting there would be some sort of hybrid model where some classes are virtual, some are in person. There would have to be temperature checks and social distancing at campus buildings,” says the 21-year-old.

Classes are currently all online, though Brown suspects there may come a time when the idea of a hybrid model is possible.

There’s also the ever-present matter of how long it takes a test such as the LabCorp one to come back. The company says it currently takes, on average, 24 hours to 48 hours.

Samantha Hager at Wesleyan University in Connecticut faced some confusion of her own: “Prior to coming, they were pretty confused about what they were going to do. They gave us all the option to defer for the whole semester. We could go to classes remotely from our homes or from our dorm rooms.”

Wesleyan also looked into whether or not students were moving onto campus from areas with high rates of COVID; those students were required to arrive two weeks before classes started in order to self-isolate. Students from lower-risk areas were required to arrive one week before classes began.

Hager received one test before heading to school from Brooklyn and then was required to take another one as soon as she arrived on campus: “I immediately went to a testing tent, and that was required of me before they gave me the key to my dorm.” Both of the tests she took were of the nasal swab variety, although the one she took on campus was self-administered. Since she’s not from a high-risk area, she only had to quarantine until Sept. 7.

A significant shift in college culture—for some

College students have a reputation for hanging out in groups and attending the occasional party. Meeting people in person in classes is its own form of socializing.

“I can hear people outside yelling and stuff. It’s a party school, and I’m not partying right now,” says Nick, the University of Colorado student. He can only have people from his own dorm building over to his room.

Of his six classes, five are completely virtual. The sixth has optional in-person attendance with required distancing. That comes with its own dilemma—what if a professor’s Wi-Fi goes out? Students may not be compelled to wait to deal with technical difficulties.

“I’m happy I’m not a freshman right now because I think that my dorm experience is something I never would have wanted to give up. But now I live in an apartment with my girlfriend,” says Brown, the Chapman senior. “But it’s still pretty isolating to be in my apartment 24/7. It’s pretty hard to make new friends.”

Hager says that things are relatively calm, without major parties, as far as she’s seen at Wesleyan. “There have been, like, two or three from what I’ve heard, but I haven’t seen it. But, I mean, I’m part of a Facebook group for my class, and a lot of Wesleyan upperclassmen have been complaining about kids, like freshmen, going around asking for parties.”

This semester has only just begun for America’s nearly 20 million college students. How these schools respond to a situation that’s still very much in flux, even at the most cautious campuses, could determine whether or not we see another massive nationwide spike in the coronavirus outbreak in the next weeks and months.

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