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The Knox Student

The Knox Student

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November 13, 2023

Thoughts from the Embers: Keeping campus safe during Winter Term

Thoughts from the Embers:  Keeping campus safe during Winter Term

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The last several months have been filled with uncertainty, and this feeling will continue to persist with the ongoing pandemic. As many schools continue to test the waters with cautious reopenings, Knox recently put out an announcement for their Winter term reopening plans.

 Winter will mimic the current Fall term in many ways. Classes will resume on January 4th in an online format, but students will not return until the middle of the term, which will be the week of February 8th. In addition to this, the school is intending for a smooth transition to spring term, which would involve reduced or no travel for the spring break so that the testing and quarantine process can be avoided.

 While it is true that we cannot remain quarantined forever, it is also true that the pandemic has not faltered. It will continue to dip and peak while vaccinations remain a future possibility. In comparison with the beginning of the coronavirus threat, which hit as we were leaving flu season, we are now entering it. The coronavirus pandemic combined with the flu season can be particularly concerning for many.

 This issue was addressed in Teresa Amott’s email sent on October 2nd regarding reopening, so it is no hidden concern. That is why in the winter, it will be as important as ever to maintain precautions when returning to school. We will no longer have the option of being outside for classes, and everyone will return to close quarters with one another, which can make outbreaks likely, as is what happens with the typical Knox plague each year. 

 From the looks of things, the school is trying its best to ensure a safe transition to in person classes. Cleaning protocols are present as well as access to testing and adjusted classroom setups. But as we have seen happen in many schools, outbreaks continued to occur despite measures put in place. This was largely due to ignoring guidelines, especially by partying or even meeting in small dorms where there is usually poor ventilation. Too many times we have seen people make exceptions for themselves and justify by saying that they have no symptoms, or that the people they have been with do not have symptoms. 

 As a community, it is crucial to hold yourselves and your peers accountable for their actions. Meeting outside will not be as much of an option anymore, and even if it is, covid and the flu thrive in colder climates anyway. This winter may unfortunately be lonelier than it has ever been, but it is all to ensure the safety of our community.

This week the TKS Editorial Board was made up Co-Editor-in-Chief Carlos Flores-Gaytan, Discourse Editor Caroline Clink, and Co-News Editors Sarah Eitel and Alicia Olejniczak.

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