Students on the Internet: How do you feel about COVID-19 cases increasing on campus?

Sienna Kaske, News Contributor

Leah Rietema (she/her/hers)

Third-year student studying speech communication and public policy, and chief of staff for the Associated Students of Oregon State University.

“This pandemic has caused our world to take a complete 180. I am heartbroken by the lives that this virus has taken and saddened by the implications that this virus has had on society. I have struggled with keeping and finding hope within these dark times and with the immediate presence of racism flowing through our spaces, this time feels very uncertain and anxiety-filled. I do however find hope in the friends and family around me, music and moving my body.”


Shoroq Alabdali (she/her/hers)

Fourth-year student studying civil engineering, and Ettihad Cultural Resource Center leadership liaison 

“Honestly, I’m freaking out a lot. With everything that’s going on right now, everything is virtual, everything is online. It’s already hard to stay home and at the same time, you want to be safe while going out. The cases are increasing while you are trying to focus on my mental health more and take care of yourself while also taking care of your classes and homework. I’m seeing OSU take measurements but at the same time, I’m still seeing people partying. We need this community to be safer. I’m not just talking about OSU, but the state of Oregon. They already have lots of measurements and lots of rules but I’m not seeing many people follow them, even with me. I’m going to the coffee shop, but I’m taking precise precautions. Don’t go to parties, I know you miss your friends, but your health is a priority. Your friends’ health is a priority. Your friends’ family’s health is a priority.If you have fun and you get COVID-19, and you infect people, then people are going to die. I don’t think it would be fun afterward, you know?”


Gaetan Nzowo (he/him/his)

Fifth-year international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo studying civil engineering 

“I honestly didn’t know that they were increasing, but I’m not surprised if it is because it seems like the people leading this country are not on the same page as actual scientists, doctors and healthcare providers. You have one side saying, ‘put your mask on, stay 6-feet apart, try to avoid spreading [COVID] as much as you can,’ and on the other hand, you have people in power that make you think that there is no virus, no COVID. I think that creates doubt into one or the other and so people are living their lives as if there was no virus. So I’m honestly not surprised, but at the same time, living in that climate I’m kinda scared because that puts uncertainty in my own life because I’m like okay is there really a pandemic? And if there is, how long are we going to be like this if there are no efforts done to slow it down or stop it? Because if people continue to live their lives like they used to, then we’ll always be stuck in this bubble where we won’t be able to get out and live our own lives.”


Langley Black (she/her/hers)

Fourth-year student studying cultural linguistic anthropology & immersive programs specialist at Community Engagement & Leadership 

“Honestly, it’s scary but what’s new? It was to be expected. Numbers give me anxiety and knowing the exact counts of it and knowing I live in a house with five individuals, including myself, all living different lives, is really scary to think about because they’re definitely coming into contact [with COVID] no doubt. My really good friend told me it’s like driving. You can be as safe and do the best things for yourself as you can in this; no matter what, there are going to be other people. So watching the cases is scary and knowing they’re increasing no matter what throughout the United States. I know it’s happening, so I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing and probably see less of my normal group. There’s a lot of unknown variables right now and so increasing cases are just like we’ve known, we live in the United States and we haven’t been handling this [pandemic] properly.”


Isis Lowery (she/her/hers) 

First-year graduate student in the College Student Services Administration and student volunteer coach for OSU Gymnastics team

“I think it’s frustrating for sure, but all I can do is make sure I’m practicing social distancing and wearing my mask. I think a lot of young people think they are immune but often forget many residents of Corvallis are at risk and we all have to be mindful and respectful of that.”


Marisol De La Torre (she/her/hers)

Fourth-year sociology student with an option in crime and justice

“I’m very concerned about COVID-19 cases increasing on campus, especially knowing that the reported numbers underestimate the total number of positive cases for OSU’s Corvallis campus and surrounding area. I am very privileged that I can work and learn remotely currently, but obviously, not everyone can do so. I wish testing was more accessible for everyone and that people were able to get tested often. That is the only way that I would feel that the university was being responsible in their response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”


Ray Wolf (he/him/his)

Second-year liberal arts major with a social justice minor 

“I wish I could say I’m surprised with COVID-19 management on campus, but the truth is that I wasn’t expecting a different outcome. If health protocols aren’t enforced and strictly followed by the entire community, COVID is going to keep spreading especially when folks keep getting together in large settings without masks. I feel like it’s particularly tricky on a university campus since a global pandemic wasn’t on anyone’s college bucket list, and grieving that loss is normal, but selfishness has its limits, and students need to start taking action to protect the community & themselves.”


Grace Deitzler (she/they) 

Third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Microbiology

“I am grateful for the hard work and efforts of the TRACE study team, for the compassion and thoughtfulness of the students, faculty and staff who are taking this seriously and for the swift action of the university against students who have failed to adhere to guidelines. However, as a graduate student and a microbiologist who has been closely following guidelines since the start of the pandemic, I am disheartened and disappointed in the selfish actions of students —and other community members— who have continued to throw caution to the wind and host large parties, gatherings and events that pretend as if there is no threat of a pandemic, especially as cases are on the rise. On Halloween, as I drove to the mouse facility on campus to complete essential lab work, I passed several large and blatant house parties near campus with groups of who I can only presume were college students spilling out onto the lawns and streets to celebrate Halloween, very few with masks. This is incredibly selfish and frankly disgusting. We all have a choice to protect our community, and I truly believe that most Beavers want to do the right thing. But as we continue into the cold and rainy season and approach more holidays, I just hope that more members of our campus community will choose to take public health seriously and stay home, and we see the recent rise in cases start to flatten out.”


Lacey Prososki (she/her/hers)

Fourth-year student studying painting and psychology

“I am so grateful for TRACE- it’s a great resource for students and faculty to sign up to be tested for COVID.I live off campus (but still in Corvallis and I work on campus) and sometimes I feel out of the loop regarding the number of cases on campus… I see most people wearing masks and keeping a distance when I work in the MU. But I also see on social media people partying (especially Halloweekend) in large groups on the weekends. The stigma around COVID is a concern too because I am not sure that people are reporting who all they have been in contact with and where they have been.” 


Noah Denker (he/him/his) 

Fifth-year graphic design student 

“It’s simply terrifying. I was relieved when classes remained remote, but shocked to see the number of students who moved to campus due to OSU’s late announcement of not requiring students to move on campus. The social distancing, mandatory masks, and hand sanitizers around simply aren’t enough when we’re letting in so many people from all over. Students are immediately being put at risk to keep funding up. Parties are still going on at Frats and apartments near campus and many people are eating in at restaurants; this town is not big and there are only so many grocery stores that see hundreds upon hundreds of people a day. This is a small concentrated area that could be doing a lot worse, but should also have done better.”

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