How to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Rocky Student by Megan Logan

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Tips for COVID-19 prevention. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Tips for COVID-19 prevention. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

It seems redundant to write about the coronavirus, or COVID-19 since it’s flooding everyone’s newsfeeds, but it’s something important and something that is affecting our campus community. 

First and foremost, understand that while social distancing sucks, it is incredibly important that you follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation. The longer people ignore the precautions we should be taking, the longer we will have to deal with this. The recommendation for social distancing is to be six feet apart from another person and having minimal contact with people outside of your own living space. 

It does not mean that you should be throwing house parties or traveling because tickets are “soooo” cheap right now. The problem our society has is that too many people have the mindset of “Corona doesn’t scare me. If I get the virus, I probably won’t die,” which is an incredibly selfish thought. Sure you might not die, but you could catch the virus and pass it on to someone that very well could die from it. RMC has adapted the learning environment in order to prevent cases of COVID-19 on our campus. Acting irresponsibly won’t help protect anyone. 

Rocky has taken measures to try and prevent the spread of the deadly virus, such as moving to online classes. As students, we should do our best to remember that even though we are not physically in the classrooms, we still have work to do. It’s easy to fall into a habit of procrastination if your classes aren’t requiring you to video in, so I recommend sticking to your routine from in-person classes as much as possible. 

Even though classes have been moved online, academic support is still available on campus. On-campus computer labs will remain open; however, the institution asks that students restrict the labs to eight people for larger ones and four people for the smaller labs. Tutoring options are still available; however, these sessions must be scheduled ahead of time as there will be no more drop-in tutoring. Students are encouraged to reach out to their academic advisers and professors if they have any questions concerning the new academic format. 

Courses for the spring semester are now being offered on a Pass (P) or No Pass (NP) grading scale. The notice came from the office of Stephen Germic on March 20 after the transition to online courses occurred. Students will have the option to choose this grading system though the decision must be made by noon May 15 and is irreversible after this date. While the decision is up to the student, Germic pointed out that it is important to note that while the P/NP system is basically the same as traditional grading for RMC, other institutions may view the courses differently. 

In this time of panic and uncertainty, it’s important to remember to wash your hands and stay six feet away from me.  

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