Life is returning back to normal after the lockdown and restrictions are lifted in almost all parts of the world. Schools and universities are reopening but it is hard to say is reopening the institute was a good idea without controlling the COVID-19 spread in the US. There are nearly 1000 COVID-19 cases from the University of Alabama reported initiating a new debate on student safety during this pandemic.
The University has created a COVID-19 dashboard revealing more than 566 confirmed patients after the new term started last Wednesday. It also includes 400 students who were tested positive for the virus when they arrived at the university.
The local news report president of the University, Mr. Stuart Bell sharing that the spread of coronavirus is not because of the irresponsible student behavior but more of a community problem.
He urges to find out the root cause of this spread and how is it spreading among all teachers and students. Only if the source is identified, he said that controlling the new COVID-19 cases in the University of Alabama would be much easier.
The main campus of the University is in Tuscaloosa, which has announced closing all local bars, cafes, and restaurants for at least two weeks. There are at least 4500 students of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa campus, Birmingham campus as well as Huntsville campus.
The educational institutes report plans for in-personal classes and online classes. While a big number of these institutes have not declared any plans on how to re-open and continue the education plan.
In addition to this, the University of Notre Dame located in Indiana has also made an announcement that it is planning for online education. The same announcement was made by the University of North Carolina as well as Michigan State University.
Despite the new COVID-19 cases in the University of Alabama are reported, the administration is trying everything to keep other students safe. There is no news of shifting the education online, like other universities but there are chances to do it if there is no other way to control the infection.
The coronavirus is highly contagious and much likely to spread from one person to another. while the classes in university allow a number of students to sit close, touch the common surfaces and use the common places, there is a high chance that the virus will transmit like anything if all universities are rep-opened.
Although there are clear guidelines on how to prevent getting or spreading the virus, there is a low chance for them to be followed completely. In addition to this, not only the classrooms but other places i.e. boarding houses, playgrounds, cafeteria, and other shared spaces may also be involved in this spread.
It looks like that online education is a good idea unless this pandemic is ended. Either the pandemic will end on its own or it there will be a vaccine available which can prevent people to catch the virus. In any case; it is hard to predict the future of universities in the US right now. The country still stands first among the worst-hit countries by coronavirus list. The new cases are still being reported, and without a vaccine, it is impossible to tell when would life return to normal in real terms.