Having COVID-19 as a college student


COVID-19 social distancing policies have resulted in many fall semester classes being moved online to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

Sierra Hoeger

COVID case numbers are rising by the minute. By the time you’re done reading this article, dozens of Iowans will get tested and receive positive results. 

One of the major factors contributing to the most recent increase in COVID-19 cases within the state of Iowa is students returning to school. Making the switch from entirely online for the last half of the previous semester to a varied schedule this semester consisting of hybrid, arranged, in-person and virtual classes has required lots of planning and preparation. 

The 18-24 age demographic was convinced in March that COVID-19 symptoms were hard to acquire. However, as students slowly realized over the summer, symptoms were easier to attract than they once believed.

“I was extremely cautious when everything started because I have asthma, which put me in a high-risk category for COVID,” said Najla Evans, a junior in graphic design. “I wiped down anything that came from outside of my house, always wore a mask and carried sanitizer everywhere. But mostly, I just stayed inside.”

Choosing to make the return to campus was a difficult one for many students and faculty, as it meant risking exposure to COVID-19. To ensure social distancing, Iowa State opted for a lengthier move-in time period, testing students as they received their keys. If positive, students would resort to Linden, where they would isolate. 

“I first started to feel sick on Wednesday, Sept. 9,” Evans said. “Mostly just tired, nauseous and feverish.”

If students feel they have been exposed to or are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they can call ahead for an appointment to get tested at Thielen Student Health Center or Johnny’s inside of Hilton Coliseum. 

“I had been tested before, so I wasn’t too worried about the process,” Evans said. “I went off campus for it because it takes a bit longer to come back compared to ISU testing, which seemed more reliable.” 

On Tuesday, students and faculty participated in a “sickout” to protest in-person classes, hoping for a push for an all-online semester. While a majority of classes are being taught in a hybrid or online format, most professors are understanding if a student happens to become ill. 

“Balancing my work while being sick was next to impossible,” Evans said. “During the worst days, I wasn’t able to move from my bed. My professors were really understanding and allowed me more time to catch up on my work.”

Immunity vitamins and shots are flying off store shelves as more and more individuals are starting to take easy and simple precautions toward their health. 

“Now, I’m taking vitamin supplements and immune boosting tea and foods to ensure my health from this point forward,” Evans said.