Travelling to university in a pandemic: Is it worth the risk?

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Empty buses during peak-times to avoid the transmission of Coronavirus.
Photo by: Ashley Bautista

University is going to be different, harder, and unusual compared to previous years.

From lively corridors and crowded spaces, to packed buses during rush hour, we now face unprecedented times where these ‘normal’ situations are no longer part of our lives right now.

After six months of restrictions, cancelled holidays and an increase in Covid-19 infections, the Prime Minister said during a speech in the House of Commons that “nothing is more important than the education, health, and well-being of our young people,” referring to the importance of keeping schools, colleges and universities open.

Shouldn’t students be prioritizing their health, rather than their education? Is it worth the risk? Students have mixed feelings and are facing uncertainty as they begin student life.

“I commute to university, so normally I wouldn’t mind travelling to go there but during a pandemic is hard,” said Natasha Joodhistee, a third-year student at the University of Roehampton.

“I’m worried because I have to travel by bus during rush hour in order to be there on time for my lessons. You know, isn’t it risky?” Joodhistee continued.

The government has recommended to all students and those going to work to avoid peak times in order to minimise the spread of the virus. However, most lectures on campus start at 10 am meaning those who commute need to leave at least two hours prior to the lecture.

Uncertainty 

Whether it’s worth it or not to attend to on-campus lectures, Elaria Lal from the University of Westminster said: “I feel like it’s worth the risk as my university is taking precautions about Covid-19. They are practicing social distancing and limiting students on the campus.”

On the other hand, Linda, a second-year student at Kingston University said: “All lectures can just be uploaded online.”

She acknowledged that the university is taking all the necessary precautions but that “public transport can quickly get overcrowded and it’s not worth the risk.”

Fleur Kuti, another second-year student at Kingston University said she feels like she’s “wasting time and energy” going for only one or two lectures.

“I’m putting myself at risk and exposing myself at university and on public transport for something that I could’ve done at home,” she continued. 

There has been an increase of Covid-19 cases within universities in London and although the universities are taking all necessary precautions to avoid the spread, students are finding these difficult times affecting their studies.

You can find the latest information on Kingston University’s Covid-19 measures here

 

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