The Mayo Clinic predicts that the state of Georgia could see upwards of 20,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by early September. These predictions would make Georgia the number-one state for new COVID-19 cases in the nation.
The Mayo Clinic released its report just days before the FDA announced its full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Though it is unknown how this announcement will affect The Mayo Clinic’s prediction, students have been unimpressed by the report itself.
“That’s both unsurprising and shocking at the same time, and Georgia State is doing nothing to protect students,” Kate Holms, a current freshman, said. “We were promised a normal and safe college experience this year, and clearly, that won’t be happening.”
Presently, only 40% of the state’s population has received a vaccination, raising concerns about the lack of masks around campus. I interviewed Holms in the typically long line at the parking office in Student Center West. Only two people in that line were wearing a mask, Holms and myself.
“I mean, look around you. We are the only two people in this entire hallway wearing a mask,” Holms added. “I took a year off last year because I was too scared to come to campus. This year only seems to be worse than [the] last. I don’t know what to do.”
It is not just students who are concerned; faculty members have also expressed concern about another sweeping closure of the university.
“They brought us back far too quickly and with too little protection. When I walk around, I’m shocked by the number of people not wearing masks. The city of Atlanta has been a hotbed for the virus, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get shut down again.” a professor from the College of Arts and Sciences said. The Signal is protecting their identity due to a credible fear of termination.
“Someone at [Perimeter College] was just fired for refusing to teach a maskless class. the University System [of Georgia] and the state is putting baseless fears above the safety of its students and professors, and that’s concerning,” the professor continued.
When asked about Georgia State’s plan if USG decides to close schools again, Georgia State staff directed us to the Georgia State Ahead webpage. This website does not provide any detailed plan in the event of another mass closing.
The reality is already quickly approaching. According to Georgia State data, there were six self-reported cases and five positive test results during the week of August 7. COVID-19 is a real threat. The pandemic is a real threat that will ensnare Georgia State if it is not careful.
For future updates on the pandemic, visit The Signal’s website or the Georgia State COVID-19 website.