Is It Too Soon to Return to In-Person Classes?

Champlain experts to open classes fully in-person in the fall.


The pandemic has taken a toll on all walks of life. People are getting sick, dying, thousands lost jobs, and going to school became opening your laptop. The terms “in-person” and “online learning” gained new meaning, and students and teachers were facing so many new struggles.

In the past year and a half, Champlain College’s first priority has been the safety of its students, but recently, with the talk of implementing all in-person classes next year, I have been getting nervous about this implementation. Although I would prefer to be in-person, I have already taken one in-person class in this, and in the previous semester, and I am worried about safety. In the past year, health has become a main priority in my life. As a returning student, I want to be sure that Champlain College is doing everything necessary so that other students and I can learn in a safe and healthy environment.

In the past year, quarantine has definitely affected the way in which I think about visiting people and places. Spaces that I once enjoyed going to I am now cautious to step foot in. Although more and more people are getting and becoming eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, I am still worried, especially since the recent spike in the beginning of April, shown by the New York Times Vermont Coronavirus map and Case Count. The CDC in the article “When You’ve Been Vaccinated: How to protect yourself and others,” posted on their website, recommends caution and use of masks in some situations, but also states that once you are fully vaccinated, masks and social distancing are not required in some settings. This is a drastic change from what we have experienced in the last year.

In recent weeks, the phrase “When the pandemic is over…” changed to “Once we all are vaccinated…” Because of this, it has made me more cautious than ever. Although wishes and hopes for things to go back to normal are strong and many people I have talked to just want it to be over, with this change in attitude, I feel like some people are forgetting the threat the pandemic still holds.

The CDC article also mentions that the CDC still does not know “how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus… how well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems… how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease…How long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.”

As they learn more about the vaccine, things can change, and the new-found protection we thought we had may disappear as new information is brought to light. I am not against getting the vaccine, but I am not about to loosen up on guidelines and protections that seem to be getting swept under the rug.

In emails sent out to all students, the college has stated that they are working on a plan to proceed with all in-person classes and more students returning to campus. Although I am sure they are still trying to work out details for this, I would like to know at least some things that I can expect as a returning student.

All this worry and change makes me want to know more information about Champlain College’s guidelines and safety protocols for next year, and how they are going to keep students, staff, and faculty safe during this time of transition.

Even with the roll out of the vaccine, I question is it too soon to be going back to in-person classes?