With millions of students heading back to school, you know what that means: late-night cram sessions, tailgating parties, and making memories that will last a lifetime. Well, that’s how it was before the pandemic.
Now, in addition to the regular stressors of being a college student, we’re now dealing with the additional worry of catching COVID, specifically the Delta variant. Whether you live or off-campus, there are things you can do to keep illness at bay and still make the most out of this academic year.
Practice Good Hygiene
Even if you’re vaccinated, you still need to practice proper hygiene, especially on campus. Most universities have mandated that students be vaccinated, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch COVID. If you’re living on campus, you need to keep your dorm room clean. Wipe down high-touch surfaces regularly and keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. If you have a roommate, you need to have open lines of communication.
Talk about how you both plan on keeping each other safe while enjoying college life. Lay down ground rules about having guests in the room and whether it’s really a good idea at all.
In between classes and socializing, it’s easy to let everything else go by the wayside. After all, going to college is an all-encompassing experience, right? As different as being a college student is, you still need to be accountable for your health. Staying informed about COVID, specifically the Delta variant, which is now the predominant strain, can go a long way when trying to stay healthy.
In addition to utilizing telehealth services to ask questions, there are plenty of online guides you can review to stay informed. At least once a week, check-in on the latest developments and plan accordingly. The pandemic has impacted a lot of back-to-school plans, so knowing what’s happening will keep you and your family in the loop.
Know The Symptoms
COVID affects everyone differently, so it’s important to know all the possible symptoms. Some people only experience mild allergic-type symptoms while others have symptoms requiring hospitalization. If you’re vaccinated, you might not experience any symptoms at all. However, you can still spread it to others.
If you think you’ve been exposed, get tested and keep an eye on how you’re feeling. Most importantly, don’t wait until you feel horrible to seek medical attention.
Use Common Sense
Just like high school, college campuses are breeding grounds for all sorts of illnesses, including colds, flu, and now COVID. If you’re the parent of a college student, you need to voice your concerns. Even though you want your child to enjoy going to college, they also need to use common sense.
Large crowds or socializing with unvaccinated people should be avoided for now. If they do socialize, they should wear a mask and try to keep things outdoors. Let them know how important it is for them to stay safe while on campus. This is even more important if they still live at home and go back and forth to classes.
Catching COVID can have a rippling effect, so even if they don’t have symptoms, someone in your home could.