Students caution against high expectations as cases decrease

Graphic of COVID-19 hospitalized patients in California by March 1

Graphic of COVID-19 hospitalized patients in California by March 1

As the pandemic nears its one-year anniversary, cases are decreasing but De Anza College students are not sure if it will stick.

Lauren Furukawa, 20, a liberal studies major, said she is cautiously optimistic about it.

“It seems that things are starting to get better,” Furukawa said. “In comparison to how it was in the last four months.”

The decrease in cases caught some by surprise, due to the seeming permanence of a pandemic that was initially expected to be controlled after a few weeks.

As a result, Dasis Francis, 19, undeclared major, said he isn’t jumping to conclusions.

“I’ve noticed a slight decrease in COVID cases, but they’re still growing everyday,” said Dasis Francis, 19, undeclared major. “So I’m not seeing much of a change besides more business opening up.”

Others believe it’s media spin.

“I’ve noticed a decrease,” said Maria Miguelgorry, 20, a liberal studies major. “But I feel like it’s just the news telling us what we want to hear.”

Social distancing protocols are still in effect, but some believe people will take the decrease in cases as an end to the pandemic.

“Every time there’s a decrease, it adds a glimmer of hope.” Furukawa said. “However, I’ve noticed that as soon as there’s a decrease, there are some people that abuse that (idea) and take the decrease as an end of it all.”

Students hope the decrease stays consistent.

“The decrease gives hope, but I can’t help but feel that it’s just a phase,” Miguelgorry said. “And as we open things back up, cases will increase again.”

Francis also said she fears the reduction could be temporary.

“It feels like when (cases lessen), things get worse again.” She said. “I feel like COVID will never really end because it’s a part of our normal life. And people will probably keep wearing masks.”

The distribution of the vaccine inspires some hope.

“I do think the vaccine is helping, but people who get the vaccine or know somebody (who got it) believe once you have it you’re immune to it or can’t spread it,” said Miguelgorry.

Furukawa said she believes the decrease in cases is due to the holiday season passing.

“Come spring break time, I think there will be another spike,” she added.

Furukawa said she wants to encourage people to be cautiously optimistic and continue to listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.