Coronavirus outbreak during AID week

Seventeen Wageningen students were infected with the coronavirus during the introduction week. Was AID such a good idea? An analysis from Resource editor Roelof Kleis.
Photo: Roelof Kleis

There was a coronavirus outbreak among Wageningen students halfway through the AID week. As far as is known, the outbreak was limited to 17 cases and did not spread to the wider Wageningen population. Even so, some are questioning whether Wageningen’s approach to AID was such a great idea.

It depends on how you look at it. In contrast to other universities, many of WUR’s AID events were not online. But the introduction was coronavirus-proof, as all possible measures were taken to prevent infections. The facts support this viewpoint. Investigations by the municipal health service show that the students did not become infected during AID activities. While the infections were among mentors and first-years attending the AID week, they became infected at private parties. That is why the municipal health service saw no need to stop AID.

But it’s surely no coincidence that the infections occurred during AID? Probably not. There were a lot of students in the town because of AID and that resulted in contacts that were not coronavirus-proof. But possibly despite rather than because of AID. The coronavirus attacks as soon as you let down your guard. That is the real lesson of the AID week. The outbreak could be seen as a dress rehearsal for the new academic year, which starts today. There will be a few classes on campus. However strict the measures, that is a risk, both on campus and even more so off-campus and in the town. See that outbreak as a warning shot.

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