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The Student’s weekly COVID check-in with Christine Johnston

By Garret Cote

As this brisk and windy Western Massachusetts winter blossoms into a warmer spring, students will begin finding themselves spending more time enjoying the fresh air. 

In addition to the cold weather, remote learning has also held students from being outside, so it is safe to say the famously tended Springfield College greens will be packed with activity as nicer conditions await. 

Due to the COVID-19 regulations that are set in place, spending time with friends in a big group has been eliminated for the time being. However, relaxing outside, socially distancing of course, is a plausible option to hanging out safely with a group of friends. 

Christine Johnston, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, Alcohol and Drug Education and Health Promotion at Springfield College, agrees that the nicer weather provides a safer opportunity to be around bigger groups, yet admits that same notion could be the reason it is more dangerous. 

“We definitely recognize both sides to having warm weather,” Johnston began. “We know for sure that going outdoors is a lot safer than being indoors, and wanting to enjoy the good weather is understandable. I was out last week walking on the track, and it was great to see so many people, but that’s the flip side. We want to make sure that everyone is continuing to follow guidelines even when being outside.”

Last week, which happened to be the nicest week in terms of weather, was the campus’s lowest positive COVID-19 test output of the semester. Whether that is a coincidence or not, Johnston lauded the Springfield students for heeding the guidelines, as difficult as it may be. This past weekend was also an important date, as it represented one full year of a different Springfield College lifestyle. 

“A year ago on Saturday was the last day of anything in person on this campus. While it’s definitely frustrating to have to follow each rule, and it may not be what you want to do, we should all be used to wearing a mask and keeping our distance. Being on campus and following guidelines is better than having to go home again and finish the semester in a house. I would much rather wear a mask,” offered Johnston. 

Photo: Springfield College

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