Students feel safer with drop in COVID cases


Graig Bracey

Second-year business student Michael Davis and first-year zoology student Chloe Yates study without masks on campus.

Dan Elson, Editor-in-Chief

AACC students said in early March they feel safer on campus and in public as COVID-19 restrictions are easing up.

In an informal poll of 20 students, 14 said they feel safer now that COVID-19 cases are falling in the county.

“I just feel like I can go outside more compared to when I was pretty much in my house 24/7,” first-year professional game development student Cole Scanlon said.

According to the New York Times, Anne Arundel County averaged 47 new cases on April 1 compared with 731 positive tests on Jan 15. The county lifted its mask mandate for indoors on Feb 1. 

AACC is still requiring students, faculty and staff to wear masks inside campus buildings until May 19. Wearing masks outside on campus is optional. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said masks are not necessary in counties like this one with low COVID numbers.

Most students in the informal poll said they feel safe enough to skip the mask.

“We are seeing a steady decrease in our positivity rate and our vaccination rate is higher than it has been,” first-year nursing student Jamie Macaraeg said.

First-year astronomy physics student Zoe Brunton agreed.

“I’m less concerned about going out,” Brunton noted.

Still, some students said they are still not feeling as safe as others. 

First-year creative writing student Patrick Caswell said he usually wears a mask whenever he goes inside a building on or off campus.

“I know, a lot of places no longer have such a big mask mandate,” Caswell said. “Me and my family still try to wear masks around most places, unless we’re super far away from people.”

 First-year psychology student Raquel Gabin said she remains cautious and careful.

“Even though the numbers are coming down, it doesn’t mean that COVID still isn’t a dangerous disease,” Gabin said. “So people aren’t taking it as seriously, even though COVID might be present in one spot more than it is in another.”

First-year art student Resa Linkins agreed.

“COVID is still able to spread even with people being fully vaccinated,” Linkins said.