President Folt sent an email at the beginning of the semester condemning large gatherings, claiming that students who host or attend them will be punished. Despite this, there have been secret frat parties and parties in off-campus apartments, and there is nothing the university can do to stop them. As irresponsible as this is, Americans across the country have chosen to adapt to Coronavirus and live with it instead of working to end it. Many people have given up completely on quarantining—eating at restaurants, shopping, hanging in small groups—so it is not surprising partying college students have given up too. Nevertheless, the irresponsibility of these students—gathering in large groups with no masks, sharing vapes, and drinking after one another—is not going to stop because many college students are not worried about Coronavirus since they know they are not in the age group with the most risk
The problem is many people in this age group who have gotten Coronavirus had mild or no symptoms so they don’t think it is that big of a deal to get it or spread it because they themselves, or people they know who have had it didn’t have bad experiences with it. Many people have tested positive and didn’t even know they had it because they were asymptomatic. What they don’t realize is asymptomatic carriers are the biggest threat because they are spreading the virus and don’t even know it. Lots of people only get tested when they feel sick or when they have come in contact with someone who has it.
USC has set up COVID testing sites on campus and for students who test positive they are supposed to list everyone they have been in contact with and then quarantine for two weeks at the USC hotel. The problem is students know this is the outcome of a positive test and instead choose to get tested off-campus. Students don’t want to have to quarantine at the USC hotel and they don’t want to have to disclose all the people they were hanging around because they know their friends don’t want to quarantine. Even if they do, I know many people have lied and said they weren’t in contact with anyone. Some people have chosen to not even tell the people they were around that they tested positive for Coronavirus because of the stigma around it, it has become a bit like telling sexual partners you have an STD—you are worried about how they might react
This selfishness and irresponsibility is the reason USC will not be able to slow the spread of the Coronavirus on campus and why we will likely not be on campus for the spring. The numbers they have for USC students testing positive are not accurate because many students get tested off-campus or don’t get tested at all.