Editorial | We’re sick of getting sick

As much as we want COVID-19 to be over, it’s not. The hacking coughs and sneezes from unmasked students in packed lecture halls are testaments to this. Combined with the 18.16% 7-day positivitythe threat of a reinstated mask mandate looms over us once more. 

The University has acknowledged this spike by issuing a strong recommendation to wear masks in classes, but this could have been avoided if proper precautions were taken in the first place.

In contrast to the easily accessible testing the University boasted proudly last semester, only the Illini Union testing site remains open, working near full capacity. The at-home antigen testing kits the University is providing as an alternative are running out rapidly and make it difficult to report an accurate number of positive cases.

Many positive cases recorded this semester may have been asymptomatic or mild, but this doesn’t change the fact that the risk of contracting long COVID-19 increases every time an individual contracts the illness. Passing COVID-19 off as a simple “cold” could set someone up for potential lifelong side effects of an illness they think will only affect them for five days.

We’re all paying for tuition here, so let’s be mindful and not ruin the college experience for everyone. If you’re feeling sick, don’t come to class — and this goes without saying, but please don’t start coughing in your full lecture hall without a mask on.

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