“This feels like the start to a really bad post-apocalyptic movie that I didn’t want to be in.”
That’s how University of Toledo sophomore, Alyssa Jordan, feels about her school and many others across the state going online-only in the wake of COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus.
On Tuesday, March 10, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that he encouraged universities to hold classes online instead of in-person to help prevent the spreading of the disease. Even before his announcement, Ohio State had announced it was suspending in-person instruction to help lessen the chances of spreading the disease. One student from OSU believes this was the best option for the health of students on campus.
“I think canceling in-person classes is the right choice for Ohio State,” said Ohio State senior, Michael Bils. “Coming off of spring break with tens of thousands of students traveling, it seems like it avoids a lot of the risk that could be associated with getting all of those students living close together in the dorms next week.”
One day after Ohio State announced the decision to go to remote-learning only, The University of Findlay, Bowling Green State University, and other schools all followed suit. Some believe it was the right thing to do, others do not like the move.
“Bowling Green did the right thing. Closing the university shows that the faculty have the student’s well-being in mind,” said BGSU student, Kyle Randall. “Even if there was a 1% chance of anyone catching it, it is still a possibility. As stated earlier, following the suit of others is the safe option.”
The issue that comes with online-only classes is that some students do not have reliable internet. Others have issues because the classes are hands-on and labs, which will cause problems.
“I’m not a fan. I don’t have the internet at home, so that means I have to find somewhere else to do my work,” UF senior, Alexa Line said. “Which defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?”
“For certain classes yes [I think this will work], my chem professor already records her lectures so I re-watch those and I can see the math and everything,” said Jordan. ‘But for my stats class, I think it will be terrible. It’s not just straight math. It’s a lot of explaining and her notes aren’t great, so it’s really lecture heavy. I also have a chem lab and physiology lab and I have absolutely no clue how that’s going to work and right now, neither do they.”
In times of panic and action, authorities weigh the options to decide what is best for the public and Bils thinks this was the best way to handle this situation. Although he does think some extra communication could have helped alleviate some of the anxiety some are feeling.
“I generally don’t think that I would have handled the situation much differently. With how quickly the situation developed and the quick action from Gov. DeWine and (Columbus) Mayor Ginther. It’s really difficult to see OSU having much choice,” said Bils. “If anything, I may have tried to have a plan in place that covers online instruction as a replacement because there is some confusion on how exactly the system will work.”
Resources for those looking for more information about COVID-19 in Ohio and how to prepare can log on to https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/.