By Riley Vance–
Young people—college students, in particular—have received a bad reputation regarding their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reputation didn’t come unearned, however. College students need to exhibit more maturity and stay in to protect the people around them while the world battles this pandemic.
As vaccines are rolling out across the U.S., we are nearing a hopeful close to the chapter that is the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is great news, it seems that it couldn’t come sooner with recent chatter about students heading out to bars despite the pandemic.
Last week, Student Body President Sabrina Collins posted pictures outside of the Granville Pub, a sports bar located on S. 3rd Street. The Jan. 14 pictures show students neither social distancing or wearing masks waiting to enter the bar were uploaded on Twitter. These pictures sparked a trend of calling people out and holding members of the U of L community responsible.
In case anyone was wondering why there will be a COVID spike at UofL in two weeks… pic.twitter.com/TQYDRbfNHV
— sabrina the teenage witch (@slcollins99) January 15, 2021
“I cannot overemphasize how important it is for students to continue to take this pandemic seriously and socialize safely,” said Collins. “We know that going to bars and seeing large crowds of people are unnecessarily dangerous behavior. Just because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel (i.e., vaccines) doesn’t mean we can act like it’s already here. The fact of the matter is that people are dying of COVID every day and going to bars just isn’t worth it.”
According to the U of L COVID-19 Dashboard, the university experienced a peak in cases in December with a 4.54% positivity rate—the second highest positivity rate since U of L started offering testing for students in August 2020. This number will more than likely only continue to rise as students return to campus after the break.
Not only is the positivity rate for U of L increasing, but the positivity rate for Kentucky is a whopping 11.74% according to the Department of Public Health and Wellness.
The data provided by the DPHW also shows that 18.4% of cases in Kentucky are seen in people between the ages of 20-29. This means that 20-29 year olds represent nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 cases, making them the age group with the highest rate of cases in the state.
If the pictures on social media of college students going out are not enough, this data should be very telling of what is truly going on. The university and U of L community need to hold students that are making reckless and irresponsible decisions more accountable. It is not cool to put the lives of others at risk.
Photo by Anthony Riley//The Louisville Cardinal