Section: Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Like H1N1 epidemic, COVID-19 exposes College’s healthcare flaws

To the editors:

 

Thank you so much for your essential reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak on campus. I have been dismayed to read about the College’s outbreak and how poorly it is being handled.

When I contracted H1N1 influenza during the fall 2009 semester, I had a rough time. I was asked to self-isolate in my single room in Caples, which forced me to use communal restrooms and expose my fellow residents. I was promised meal delivery that ended up being unappetizing and inappropriate for my very unhappy digestive system, when it even showed up at all. I never imagined that, faced with a deadlier and more contagious virus, Kenyon’s administration could somehow fail harder. Yet they have!

Sending COVID-19 positive students home to isolate means asking them to knowingly risk bringing a deadly and disabling virus home to their families and communities — which may include relatives too young to be vaccinated. It’s unconscionable. The recklessness, heartlessness and negligence embedded in such a policy are wholly inconsistent with the values I learned at Kenyon. If there’s not enough housing to isolate all affected students in an outbreak, it’s not safe for all students to be back on campus. I truly don’t know how the COVID-19 Steering Committee sleeps at night. Is a Kenyon education a process, or a product? Is the goal of the College to create graduates who think critically and lead with character, or merely to sell diplomas? 

 Kenyon helped me become myself, and gave me the academic foundation to pursue a graduate degree in public health. It’s a shame I’ll be advising my younger cousins not to apply.

 

Monica Kriete, MPH, K’11 

(Copy Editor / Lead Copy Editor of The Kenyon Collegian, 2007-2011)

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