COVID-19: A Game Changer for the World


©2020 Jernej Furman, Some Rights Reserved subject to CC BY 2.0 License Terms.

Jerry Igaz, Staff Reporter

The coronavirus, specifically COVID-19, first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. For two years, we have seen its development unfold through the human population on Earth, which has had a staggering impact on everyday actions such as coughing or sneezing. Its existence has changed our world to a place where masks are a common sight and hand sanitizer keeps itself supplied in almost every store, school or building.

Such things have been somewhat divisive among the individuals of the world. There are dedicated groups that are both for and against issues that have been brought about by the coronavirus, such as the widespread mask mandate that makes an effort to try and reduce the spreading of the virus. This division is only one of many that exist within the controversy of the coronavirus, and it seems that tensions will only further as time goes onward as changes continue to make themselves known.

In particular, the college experience has changed tremendously. With an increased risk of illness making itself known to the public, in-person instruction can be somewhat of a danger to those at risk of exposure. If a class finds itself in the midst of someone who has been exposed to the coronavirus, this brings the issue of having to move classes to an online format, something that not every student can adapt to on a whim. The jump from an in-person classroom to the online world is a difficult transition, and it is one that serves as a challenge for many who were looking to engage in physical interaction on campus grounds.

Furthermore, interactions on campus have become somewhat limited in how they need to be enjoyed, such as local gatherings or club meetings, with social distancing being an important aspect in keeping the spread of the coronavirus to a minimum. While vaccinations and masking helps with allowing these events to continue existing, a complete return to normalcy is not something many of these groups have found yet. In due time, these groups will find themselves able to converge with one another if said normalcy is able to take its place in the world once more.

Despite these limitations, the world has refused to allow itself to become completely silenced by the reach the coronavirus has had over the world. Humans are inherently creatures of habit, and no matter what may get in their way, they will do what they can to continue their planned schedules despite opposition, the appearance of new variants of the coronavirus or other obstacles that may appear.

STUDENT MONITOR, a group that twice annually publishes college statistics accrued over the development of the year, provides information regarding the lifestyle and media consumption over the course of 2021. Fall 2021 results indicate that a return to near normalcy is in progress.

Vaccination and Exposure Status

In 2021, 65% of students reported that they had fully vaccinated themselves, while 53% reported that someone they knew outside of their family had experienced COVID-19. 41% reported that a family member of their own has had experience with COVID-19, while 26% have personally dealt with COVID-19. Only 2% of survey participants reported that they have not experienced any of these situations whatsoever.

COVID-19 Related Enrollment Status

57% of students reported that they would attend classes on campus for Fall 2021, while 30% reported that their classes would be hybrid classes. Only 13% of students reported that their classes would be entirely online.

Return rates

A combined total of 54% of students reported that they would very likely return for their next semester of college, while 10% reported that they were unsure about returning for the next semester. 35% of students reported that a return in the next semester would not happen for them.

Remote Learning Satisfaction

A combined total of 68% of students reported that they were satisfied with the experience that remote learning gave them. Meanwhile, a paltry 18% reported that they were unable to find satisfaction in the experience of remote learning, which shows a struggle along the lines of adapting to online environments for some students.

Study attitude

Despite the ongoing pandemic, 48% of students report that they are giving it their all when it comes to their studies, while 8% are doing whatever they can to achieve a passing grade. With the struggle of the coronavirus and the weight of classwork weighing on the back of a student, it can be hard to appropriately take care of every need.

Buying Textbooks

Campus textbooks are usually bought from their respective bookstores, with 29% of students reporting so. Other sources of textbooks come from Amazon at 23%, and at 19%. Textbooks can often come at different prices at different places, so looking around is most often worth the trouble.

Although the coronavirus has been somewhat ruthless in its developments across the world, but the statistics here prove that the human race will stop at nothing to keep their lifestyles from being hampered. As time progresses, so too will our understanding of the coronavirus and how we can handle it.