ORLANDO — After ending the lockdown more than three weeks ago and reopening across the state, there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in Central Florida. And Florida A&M University students are worried about what the future holds for them.
Central Florida is home to many tourist attractions. Since phase one of reopening Orlando, social distancing and proper health protocols have slowly faded.
Camille Stevens, a transferring senior pre-nursing student at FAMU, is concerned about the increase in coronavirus cases.
“Since I had to go back home because of financial reasons due to the coronavirus, it worried me even more because the number of cases wouldn’t stop spiking. I’ve been practicing safety protocols since phase 1 of reopening and it’s very annoying to see people taking this pandemic very lightly by not wearing a mask or sanitizing everyday items and areas,” Stevens said.
For some incoming freshmen students, COVID-19 has stripped away their final semester of high school and their first college experience. No grad-bash, prom and more importantly, walking across the stage at graduation.
Jordan Paige, an incoming biology student at FAMU, had the first-hand experience of losing memories during her senior year of high school. Paige reiterated her feelings on COVID-19 and the fear of a second shutdown.
“I feel like I play a 50 percent role in the increase of cases as a young adult because most of us have preached on why we should practice social distancing, then again it depends on the person. I’m worried for us because there seems to be a new case in Orlando every day,” Paige said.
Paige also said she is worried about a second wave of cases affecting teens and young adults.
“I don’t think the majority of young adults are taking the virus seriously at all because they are going to parties, beaches and the clubs since they’ve reopened and at any given time a second shutdown could happen because the virus is spreading quickly and my peers don’t take it as seriously as they should as if their lives are not in danger. This virus might definitely affect my incoming year,” she said.
Florida had more than 5,000 confirmed cases on Wednesday, a record for the state. With the reopening of Universal Orlando Resort two weeks ago and Walt Disney World next month, how many more cases could come about?
Brenda Baxter, a junior pre-nursing student said it is important to take the virus seriously.
“I’ve lived in Orlando all my life and if I were to see it shut down again, it would break my heart. The community needs to take the virus seriously and get more educated on protecting themselves and others.” Baxter said. “It’s not just the virus that is killing people, it’s those who are ignorant enough to disobey the rules set in place because one could be a carrier of the virus and show absolutely no signs.”