Our View: Follow new coronavirus guidelines

After months of both anticipation and apprehension, the time has come: move-ins, class materials and time management strategies are on the forefront of many students’ minds as they return to Truman State University for fall classes. Those anxieties, though normal for the beginning of the school year, will likely be further exacerbated this semester by concerns regarding campus reopening amid continued COVID-19 spikes nationwide. As students navigate what life might look like these next couple months, they must consider their responsibilities as both students and members of society. 

We, The Index Editorial Board, urge fellow classmates and faculty to take charge of their own health while looking out for those around them. There are undoubtedly heightened pressures under these new and unfamiliar circumstances, but putting an effort into developing healthy habits in conjunction with the recommendations of both Truman and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention should be of utmost priority. While school work is important, your mental and physical well-being are more so. 

To make sure on-campus attendees are prepared for a healthy semester, Truman has provided an online page titled “COVID-19 Updates and Guidance for On-Campus Living During the COVID Pandemic” for all to access. Within it you can find cancellation policies, disinfecting precautions, proximity regulations and what to monitor during your daily wellness check. Truman steadily updates its guidelines for coronavirus-related issues in accordance with public health initiatives, so it is necessary to stay informed by checking this page regularly. 

Such instructions might seem bothersome after many years without rigid safety procedures, but students should understand the need for these rules after what happened this past spring. As we all can remember, the unforeseen illness created almost instant chaos as universities, businesses and individuals hurried to find some sort of solution. As we now continue to coexist with this virus and manage contact, we should be completely ready to avoid that havoc in the future. We have since gained greater insight into the signs, symptoms and prevention methods. All that’s left: putting this knowledge into action.

Although we might be missing out on more in-person gatherings or occasionally running late to class due to a forgotten mask, these sacrifices are small compared to the greater good of our friends, families, neighbors and country. The college transition can be tough, especially during these times — but we are tougher. Follow the guidelines to make for a safe and healthy environment here and everywhere.