With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide and no vaccine in sight, De Anza College students expressed concern halfway through the fall quarter.
Johns Hopkins University released data that showed 99,321 new cases were reported in a single day in the United States, surpassing the previous record set by India.
According to the New York Times, at the end of October, the U.S. maintained an average of over 800 deaths per day, a rapid increase in confirmed cases.
“It makes me feel very uneasy,” Manuel Moya, 21, computer science major said. “It seems like a lot of states are opening up more of their restaurants and stores, and the workforce is coming back, which is good for the economy, but at the same time I feel like that’s why the numbers keep rising.”
Other students voiced similar frustrations with the relaxed COVID-19 protocols.
“It bothers me that people won’t stay at home and always go out to eat at restaurants, and spend time outside with people and spread the virus,” Andre Zambrana, 20, game design major, said. “I think we just need to stay home for quite some time.”
Now approaching seven months since colleges have transitioned to exclusively online instruction, De Anza students feel that continuing virtual education is the safest approach with the ongoing pandemic.
“We have to extend this [online education], we have to do that if we don’t want more people to die,” said Spartak Gevorgyan, 20, computer science major. “So, it’s just my opinion that we must extend virtual education overall.”
Forrest Stout, 39, nursing major, shared similar sentiments.
“I’m not sure if the pros outweigh the cons, you know if the con to that plan is that we’re increasing the risk of spreading COVID amongst the students, the faculty and the community, that’s a pretty big deal,” he said.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, many colleges have come up with different ways to support their students, for better or worse. De Anza students, however, have felt that for the current situation, the college has handled the pandemic quite well.
“I think De Anza is handling it really well,” said Nathan Spruiell, 20, business major. “I’ve had a lot of really nice teachers who have been doing, quite frankly, above and beyond. My accounting teacher gives you an extra hour on the assignment in case you have internet problems on tests and stuff.”
Students also agreed a potential cause of the surging daily cases is the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when compared with other nations around the world.
“It makes me upset that our current administration has, in my opinion, done poorly to put an end to this virus,” said Aki Baidya, 18, computer science major. “ If you look at other countries, they’ve implemented strict measures, but when you look at our country, they haven’t really done much.”
Despite the criticisms of how the federal government has handled the pandemic, students maintain a commitment to being responsible and keeping the community healthy.
“It’s not fun to be avoiding the summer barbecues and stuff that we usually do,” Stout said. “But, you can also think of it like, ‘I’m helping by not doing that.’ So that’s something that’s helped me.”