Editorial: The District mandates are a good start

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(Julianna Hernandez | Viewpoints)

The Riverside Community College District campuses will finally be open to the students, staff and faculty after three semesters of distance education.

However, this return does not come without its restrictions. The RCCD Board of Trustees have passed a resolution that mandates vaccinations and face-coverings in order to step foot on the campuses.

The Viewpoints Editorial Board supports these mandates that will be in effect throughout the three campuses.

Though the mandates are a good start, we urge the district to improve their communications with everyone enrolled and employed across campuses. Enforcing mandates a couple weeks before the term begins has caused a frenzy and panic amongst students, staff, employees and the community alike.

We also implore that all in-person classes and indoor spaces be properly socially-distanced and sanitized often.

Like many others, we are concerned about the health and safety of the student body and community, which is why we believe this is the best solution to ensure that goal.

This pandemic has taken its toll on our entire college community, including our newsroom, both mentally and physically.

The newsroom has a strong familiarity with the struggles that virtual learning has brought, and quickly operating under the safest guidelines possible has not been easy for any staff involved. The severe damage this virus has caused  only makes us more motivated to follow the guidelines toto stop the spread the fastest way we can.

However, we do understand that many students disagree with the idea of mandating vaccinations for a myriad of reasons. It is understandable that many distrust vaccines due incidents of medical racism and discrimination in the American healthcare system.

In a global state of emergency where over 620,000 Americans have died, though, we must consider if there is a plausible motive for scientists or the government to maliciously experiment on the global population rather than make it healthier against a new deadly virus.

According to the California State of Public Health about 63% of Californians age 12 and older are fully vaccinated with 10% partially vaccinated, and “most current hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated persons.”

Many are skeptical of how quickly the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was processed. In a state of global emergency it should be a top priority to find a viable and efficacious solution immediately, and EUAs are rigorous in that aspect, not nefarious.

Yes, the EUA is not a full FDA approval, but Pfizer and Moderna have applied for full approval of their vaccines. Still, it is a timely process.

Every individual has had a different experience with COVID due to a plethora of reasons that are not limited to race, class, mental health, gender and sexuality.

The weight of the pandemic’s impact on everyone has taken its toll physically and mentally, including the Viewpoints staff.

If you can find no reason to care about curbing the virus, do it for those who you know will be disproportionately impacted by your actions.

We encourage anyone who desires to get COVID-19 under control to stay informed and follow public health guidance so everyone can return to in-person livelihoods sooner rather than later.

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