For all my life, I have been a firm believer in the “snitches get stitches” idiom, but during a pandemic, this rule no longer applies. As long as college campuses are the COVID-19 hotspots of the country, it is our duty as students and as citizens to call out every party-goer and mask remover and demand that they observe the required restrictions.
A New York Times survey found that since the pandemic began there have been 88,000 cases of COVID-19 on college campuses, including 60 deaths. These numbers spiked at the beginning of this fall semester when people began gathering without following all CDC guidelines, particularly those on wearing masks and limiting gathering sizes. By now, six months into the pandemic, we should all know what we need to be doing to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, but certain partygoers seem to be ignoring or rejecting these measures for the sake of a good time. Well, we’ll see how good a time we’ll all have in mass quarantine, which is what will surely happen if we allow case numbers to continue increasing. We can stop the spread of COVID-19 here at SLU by rejecting the idea that “snitches get stitches” and holding each other accountable for keeping us on campus.
No one likes to be a snitch, but this is not a case of petty tattle-taling or useless finger-pointing; stopping your friends from going to a party could potentially save them and those close to them—including you—from contracting the coronavirus. People who attend large gatherings in flagrant defiance of SLU’s gathering restrictions seem to think they are immune to coronavirus and consequences. It is up to us to make it clear that that is not the case.
Notre Dame was forced to move all classes online for two weeks after an increase in off-campus gatherings spread the disease to more than 600 members of the community. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moved to online classes as well after more than 500 students were sentenced to quarantine or isolation for potential exposure. Though SLU has made it through the first month of the semester without any major outbreaks, we need to continue to be vigilant so as not to join the ranks of colleges that have failed.
Be the whistleblower if that means that we can be at school in person longer. I for one do not want to be sent home in the middle of my freshman year, especially after a similarly dismal ending to my senior year of high school. Don’t you want to know how cool it would be if we were able to last the whole year in person? Wouldn’t you like to brag to all your high school friends about how your college didn’t have to shut down? This is all possible if we just follow the rules and do what we can to ensure that those around us do as well.
So do me, yourself and our school a favor and report anyone you see not following campus safety regulations. Right now, instead of getting stitches, snitches save lives. Call 1-877-525-5669 if you see anyone not in compliance with SLU’s policies.