Students Put Others at Risk
Disappointing stupidity. Mass insanity. A geronticidal plot.
Pick one, or even all three to describe the behavior of some West Virginia University students. Whatever the explanation for their behavior, it simply must stop.
Since students — mostly freshmen, it appears — began gathering for fall classes on WVU’s main campus in Morgantown, there has been an upsurge of COVID-19 cases. Why? Check your social media feeds. The explanation is circulating in the form of pictures showing young people by the scores lining up to get into Morgantown bars.
“We’ve got people standing on top of people. We’ve got no masks,” noted Gov. Jim Justice after seeing some of the photos. He promptly ordered that bars in Morgantown be closed.
Between bar-hopping and big private parties in apartments, some WVU students are paying no heed whatever to warnings about spreading the disease. Their behavior flies in the face of university rules, along with disciplinary action taken against some violators.
Taking chances with COVID-19 is “a flagrant disregard for our community’s safety, both the campus community and the city of Morgantown,” WVU President E. Gordon Gee said Wednesday.
As he pointed out, it appears most WVU students are doing what they can to help in the battle against COVID-19. But some are ignoring the rules with a determination that seems almost a civil disobedience campaign.
Except there is no worthwhile cause for this one. If the young students are aware the virus poses little danger to them, they also know it can be deadly to older people.
People like their parents and grandparents. People who are proud of their college kids and may remain so even after the students have come home carrying deadly doses of COVID-19 to older people in their hometowns.
After all, who’s to say how the virus broke out in a town? Community tracing takes time and is not infallible — especially when college students who already have demonstrated their dishonesty by agreeing to WVU’s rules, then breaking them, lie about their behavior.
Do we sound angry? Parents and guardians of WVU students should be upset, too — enough to tell the kids that if they continue to put others’ lives at risk, they will be told to come home and explore the job market.