From ADAM J. MUR – [email protected]
“Positive test for COVID” – I received another email from a student informing me of their diagnosis and the need to take lectures and exams in class I TA, the seventh such email in three days. UC Davis campus, very much like the rest of the United States., is experiencing a huge leap in the case of COVID-19. However, the UC Davis administration has it without indication that more security measures will be introduced.
Although White House sharing his estimate of 100 million new cases of COVID-19 this fall, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, the UC Davis administration decided to remove the requirement to test the campus and study the symptoms for the summer and autumn periods of 2022. This comes after cancellation the indoor mask mandate, one of our last, easiest and fairest protective measures. There will also be the Healthy Davis Together partnership with the city of Davis dissolved. This is a recipe for disease and death on and off campus, as UC Davis does not exist in a bubble; the virus does not care what is on campus and what is excluded. The wider Yolo and Sacramento counties are classified as highly vulnerable communities. That is, communities with economic, social and physical conditions that may make it difficult to respond to and recover from a COVID-19 outbreak.
Allowing the virus to spread freely on campus puts off-campus communities at risk. The university has a responsibility to protect the surrounding communities as well as its own. Currently, UC Davis is also not defending.
After the Delta wave last fall, UC Davis no longer made remote options for required classes that were introduced the previous year. Without a guaranteed remote option, high-risk members of the UC Davis community like me are forced to make an impossible decision every day: to expose ourselves to a debilitating and deadly virus, or to give up our education and income. Those living with high-risk people are forced to decide between keeping their roommates and loved ones safe or attending a lecture that can easily be offered remotely.
UC Davis offers accommodation, but involves a long bureaucratic process that students with disabilities have identified as inaccessible. The Disability Advocacy Group, UC Access Now, across the UC, presented a Questionnaire to the UC system in 2020, outlining in detail how universities can provide an accessible and equitable environment for people with disabilities. From June 2022 the university has did not take any steps to accept the recommendations and make the necessary adjustments.
New data suggests that 1 in 5 adults infected with COVID-19 will experience a number of debilitating symptoms that can last for months to years, a syndrome known as ‘long-term COVID’. IN the majority of patients with prolonged symptoms of COVID-19 would initially be classified as ‘mild’. That is, when they first fell ill, there was no need for hospitalization. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was thought that vaccination could at least prevent prolonged COVID-19. To the credit of our community, the UCD really has high vaccination rate; However, new data shows that vaccination may not provide significant protection against prolonged COVID-19. The UCD puts tens of thousands of people at risk of a life-changing condition by implementing policies that ignore the seriousness of the virus.
The University of California, Davis, must immediately reinstate its indoor mask mandate for the remainder of the school year, graduation ceremonies, and provide for masquerading for the fall semester, given an intrusive White House prediction. The university must plan all personal activities on campus (classes, events, seminars, etc.) to be offered remotely, as well as to enable everyone to stay safe. Finally, the university must reverse the course of its plan to eliminate the testing requirement. Regular testing is how we know the current levels of transmission and what measures are needed to protect public health.
UC Davis must act in the interests of justice and science. Over the past two years, the university has demonstrated that it has the knowledge and resources to keep its communities safe. Failure to follow these simple measures is an active choice to risk your life in the name of “normalcy,” which very few have the privilege of experiencing.
Written by: Adam J. Moore – [email protected]
Adam is an epidemiologist in infectious diseases and Dr. a student at UC Davis studying viruses and public health. He has research experience with various infectious diseases, including the virus that causes COVID-19.
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