Social distancing. Masks. Pandemic. COVID-19. In March 2020, these became some of the most frequently used terms. However, a new word has come to the forefront: vaccines.
A few months into the pandemic, everyone started wondering, when will this be over? I remember thinking to myself, “Only a few more months. Life will be normal soon.” Of course, as the reality and true severity of the situation unfolded, we realized this pandemic would be sticking around for much longer than a few months. Towards the end of the summer, everyone began talking about what seemed to be our only hope: a vaccine. As Dr. Fauci updated us on a vaccine timeline and we heard about the many vaccine candidates, I began to get confused about how vaccine rollout would work and when they would be available to the public.
Now, two months into 2021, we have thankfully begun vaccinating Americans at a pace that is increasing by the day. This is great news for everyone, but there is still some major confusion. Throughout the pandemic, each state has had completely different rules regarding mask requirements, business openings, and quarantine rules. The vaccine rollout has taken a similar path, with each state vaccinating different groups at different times for different reasons. Of course, this has caused some frustration among the vast majority of Americans who badly want the vaccine.
This brings us to the present situation. As the University experiences a dangerous spike in cases and the number of beds available dwindles, I can’t help but think about what life on campus would be like with everyone vaccinated.
Of course, at this moment, we must wait our turn for the more vulnerable to get vaccinated. But in the spring, I am left wondering whether or not students will be able to get the vaccine, and how much of an impact this will have on the spread among students.
In a time of much uncertainty, it would be great to hear more about the vaccine rollout for students and faculty of Villanova. In December, we received a message from the Vice President of Student Life, Rev. John P. Stack, in which he stated the following: “Villanova has been identified by the county and state as a vaccination site, which means Villanova will receive vaccines when they become available for our population. It is too soon to know a timetable for when vaccines will be available for our campus community.”
What does this mean? When will we get the timetable for vaccines? I believe that we should be updated with more information on this, especially since so many of us are nervous about getting COVID-19 with a high number of active cases on campus.
If the University is fortunate enough to get vaccines for the entire campus community, it is essential that we are updated as much as possible and that priorities are made for students and faculty with underlying health conditions to ensure everyone is safe. If the Villanova community is able to get vaccinated before returning home, it would be a great accomplishment. For now, let’s continue to stay safe, mask up and stay hopeful for hear promising news in the near future.