One of the most common questions I’m asked is “What is Ithaca College going to do to make sure that I am safe when we return to campus in the spring?”
I have spent the good part of the fall semester partially answering this question by building on the robust work of the Return to Campus Committee. I have revisited the framework they developed through the Public Health Columns, webinars, and meetings. Our website also reflects this content — the Health, Safety and Prevention page details everything from testing to disinfection to visitor guidelines. This information is further supplemented with guidance on our COVID-19 Employee Resources page.
This week, I would like to complete the answer to this question by asking everyone reading this column a question, which is, what are you willing to do to make sure that campus is safe when we return in the spring?
This virus is highly effective in transmitting from person-to-person. Its playbook is to prey on the healthy, relying on your lack of symptoms and perceived invincibility as a way to silently spread, to deliver devastating consequences to those with compromised health conditions. Let’s be honest — the numbers show that this strategy is working brilliantly for this virus.
Our policies and procedures therefore have little chance of keeping campus safe if we are not willing to actually adhere to those guidelines, whether on campus or off, and make the collective sacrifices necessary to keep this virus at bay. Every - single - one of us must return to South Hill with the same mindset about the value of public-health-recommended behaviors and use actions that show a concern that extends beyond ourselves.