By Gia Khanh Do ’21
After three weeks of strict COVID-19 restrictions, Dr. Hulsey announced on Wednesday September 23rd that students are allowed to break cohorts in outdoor spaces and dorms as long as they wear masks and remain six feet inbetween. They are finally given the chance to mingle with others, especially the freshmen class. It has been especially rough for them since they couldn’t talk to people in their form. They were basically still strangers to one another before post-restrictions.
For old boys, they are now able to hang out with their friends whom they have not seen since March. While being in a cohort has been a good experience for me, I got tired of seeing the same faces for meals, afternoon workouts and other mandatory activities. It was nice to finally talk to my friends that live all across campus with them saying “I’m not allowed to talk to you right now. It’s breaking cohorts!” The lifting of restrictions also gave me a chance to explore other halls. Right after Dr. Hulsey announced the new phase, I rushed up and down Hanes Hall and visited all the dorm rooms that I could.
However, there are some cons to this new plan. Some younger students are not wearing masks while in common spaces because there are currently no cases on campus. While walking around the Walker Commons area with Tim Pouring, I have witnessed him screaming “Wear your mask!” to sophomores. It wasn’t until when he said that he was a senior did they follow his order. In Dr. Hulsey’s plans for Woodberry, he talked about surveillance testing. One student from each cohort will be tested randomly along with 20% of faculties on campus. This could work. But I am worried that if a faculty member tests positive and passes it on to students, it would be impossible to contain the spread because breaking cohorts is allowed. Faculties frequently travel off campus. All we can do is hope that this does not happen. We have made it this far and should not let it go to waste.