By Zoe Boylan
Georgia Southern University was and always has been a thriving campus. But when COVID-19 hit, it sent shockwaves through campus. Matthew Kuhlke, a senior business major, enjoyed the atmosphere of Georgia southern before the coronavirus.
“Campus was lively and enjoyable until the coronavirus hit,” said Kuhlke. “Then it turned into a ghost town.”
Statesboro was a hotspot for the virus, and the cases kept climbing, and the decision was made that students were not to return to campus after spring break of 2020. Students were shocked and unsure of the future.
There was a learning curve that the students and faculty had to deal with when it came to having classes online. Now GS students are back in 2021 and taking classes in-person and not strictly online. The campus is starting to look normal again, but faces have changed. The faces that were familiar now have masks covering them.
“We don't have the ability to communicate like we used to,” said Kuhlke. “It's hard when you can't see your professors’ faces or your fellow classmates.”
With the vaccine for COVID-19 ready to be distributed, GS is now coordinating with the Georgia Department of Public Health to distribute vaccines to faculty and students. GS is distributing the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for those individuals 16 years or older. To get this vaccine, it is first-come, first-serve through the GSportal by appointment.
Nurses and student nurses are at the site distributing the vaccine. Heather Hall, a junior student nurse at GS, is currently distributing vaccines. This distribution site offered up opportunities for student nurses to gain credit for their clinics, and they can volunteer to work at the site.
“I definitely think this will help our campus out,” said Hall. “It can create a safer environment and reduce the anxiety of those who may have been nervous to return to campus before.
“I believe I'm doing my part to stop the spread,” Hall continued. “I've had the opportunity to deliver multiple vaccines, and it is encouraging to see the number of people who are continuously getting vaccinated.”