There are 3,871 covid cases in Washington County alone. Covid has impacted our community in many different ways but as a collective, it has majorly impacted education. As of Feb. 21st, there are six reported cases on Pacific University campus, according to the university’s COVID-19 resource page that keeps the community up to date with active cases. The effects of covid have left students worldwide unsure of what could happen next.
In 2020, Pacific University closed due to the pandemic along with multiple universities across the United States. Online school was put in place to keep students on track for pursuing their education. However, students on campus are worried about the possible outcome of what the pandemic will further bring about in education, extracurriculars, sports, and social life.
After finally reuniting as a community this past fall, the Omicron variant unexpectedly hit. Reported cases skyrocketed around the world, with the United States reaching the largest record of 1.35 million new cases in one day in mid-January. Within this increase, Washington County faced its own record high of 4,002 cases in a single day on January 24th.
The stress of these unknown circumstances has caused an increase in burnout and poor mental health in the community. The unpredictable transition from in-person school to online over the past two years has caused students and teachers to fall out of normal routine, taking a toll on their mental health. After a long year of online schooling, many students returned to in-person learning feeling behind and isolated from their peers.
“Starting college after two years of online learning has been a big challenge for me. It was a hard adjustment to make and I still get nervous not knowing if we will go online again,” said Delaney Nigma, a current freshman at Pacific University
The community has stayed strong through the uncertainty and remained persistent in COVID-19 safety measures. When asked if Pacific has been successful in these wavering times, many students believe that the campus has continued to be a strong, welcoming place. With the leadership of a wide variety of task forces and planning groups, faculty and staff have developed concrete ways to ensure both a safe and positive learning environment. — Emaleah Hursh
This article has been translated into Spanish. See the translated version here.