For some years now, I have lived in a close-knit student house in Wageningen centre. I feel confident in saying we have followed the corona measures closely from the start, easing our approach in sync with the lifting of measures by the government. In the face of the new academic year, which is or is not also the start of the second wave, we will discuss our corona policy for the umpteenth time.
And we no longer enjoy doing that. We are tired of corona, yet we understand we need to stay responsible. In a limited environment, such as a student home, it is not hard to keep each others’ sense of responsibility honed. It helps to know that your behaviour directly affects the health of your housemates and that if one housemate falls ill, it affects everyone’s health and freedom of movement.
The decisive consideration is that between responsibility and practicability
During our meetings on corona, we often ended up with a singular decisive consideration: the choice between taking responsibility and the practicability of the measures. In March, we agreed that no-one could enter or leave the house unless for a period of at least two weeks so that the incubation period of the virus would allow us to respond accordingly. This rule applied to, for example, boyfriends and girlfriends. However, we decided to ease this measure in the interest of keeping our policy viable for the long term.
Viability is an important issue to consider when developing policies; on a small scale such as this, but also on a regional and national level. If the government bans festivities during the introduction weeks, students will step in and organise their own. At these parties that were mostly organised in student homes (the Wageningen AID was no exception), little attention was paid to social distancing and maximum numbers. And all this, while student associations were more than eager to organise safe activities within the constraints of the protocols they had detailed in the months leading up to the introduction.
Geert van Zandbrink is a bachelor student Economy and Governance.
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