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Not the time to get comfortable

By the Gatepost Editorial Board

Last week, Framingham State saw 11 positive COVID-19 tests out of the 711 conducted – more positives than any other week throughout the course of the year.

In response to the 11 positive cases, President F. Javier Cevallos said, “We are now seeing a clear and concerning uptick in positive cases on campus.”

In his weekly email to the Framingham State community April 1, he also reminded the community that if we want to avoid going to fully remote learning for the remaining six weeks of the semester, we must continue to remain vigilant and adhere to the guidelines laid out by the University.

Additionally, Cevallos confirmed that through contact-tracing, most cases are not being passed through classes or athletics. Rather, the virus is most likely being spread in the community through socializing with peers.

Cevallos said, “We saw several students become positive this week while they were in quarantine after socializing with other students who tested positive last week.”

With spring here and warm weather approaching, we all want to enjoy a nice, sunny afternoon lounging on the Miles Bibb lawn, playing basketball near the Honors House, or hanging out with our friends.

However, we must all put our own and each other’s health first and take all necessary precautions if we want the pandemic to end.

No one wants to spend the last couple of weeks of the semester in quarantine.

We must continue to wear our masks – fully covering our mouths and noses – and maintain an appropriate six-foot distance whenever possible.

With cases across the U.S. rising, and new, deadlier variants such as B.1.1.7 from the United Kingdom becoming dominant throughout the country, it is even more crucial now that we do our part to end the pandemic.

While vaccinations are being administered millions of times each day, that is not a reason to let our guard down now.

Even those who are fully vaccinated should still adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines and are required to by the University.

There is no excuse for why someone should not be wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.

The New York Times reported 73,200 new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. April 7, with a seven-day average of 65,556 new cases per day.

To put this statistic into perspective, on April 7, 2020, the Times reported 30,337 new cases across the country, with a seven-day average of 30,133.

We are seeing more than double the number of cases we did when the pandemic began.

Rochelle Walensky, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, held back tears as she announced the U.S. is dangerously close to entering a fourth wave.

“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope,” Walensky said. “But right now, I’m scared.”

In less than two weeks, April 19, every citizen in Massachusetts aged 16 and over will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

But until the time comes when a majority of the country is vaccinated and we reach herd immunity, we need to continue to do our part to fight the pandemic.

We have gotten through the pandemic together for over a year, and the end is nearly in sight.

We all miss the way life used to be.

But if we want to get back to normal sooner rather than later, we need to continue treating the

pandemic as seriously as we did when it first began.

Let’s make this incoming fourth wave our last.

For the sake of our friends, families, and ourselves.

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