Luc Bryant ’22
Since the return to campus, there have been many new regulations incorporated into everyone’s daily routines at Trinity College. As a community, we have successfully prevented a significant spread of COVID-19. When there was a spike in reported cases, we were able to control the fallout and return our community back to the “green” alert level after briefly rising to the “yellow.” When I walk around campus, everyone wears masks and tends to distance themselves from passersby. My one in-person class sticks strictly to the mask and distancing standards, even at the expense of being able to talk to the person next to you during the lecture.
Despite how functional our campus may seem, not all players have been equally successful. Last week, the Tripod published an article focused on the flaws of the testing center and its process. Since that time so long ago, not much has changed in the testing experience. In fact, even today I walked into the testing center and moved through the process noticing the same glaring inconsistencies with standard safety procedure. Although it might be a bit weak, the process is remarkably quick, and immediately after I am free to tend to myself.
Key to every student’s testing process is the scheduling of an appointment using Co-Verified’s testing function. This is where the process begins for all students. It would make the most sense for students to be confirmed for their appointment and allowed to continue with the process. There is no such check-in, however, so rather than retool the testing process, I simply ask the question: what do we need CoVerified for?
My experience with CoVerified has been, thus far, meaningless. On average, I will report my symptoms perhaps twice a week, or whenever I happen to glance at the application on my phone. I have yet to receive an email about being in conflict with the community contract. Last Monday, I decided to report a symptom to see what would happen and did not hear anything from the health center or the administration telling me what to do. At the end of my test I would confirm my attendance and then be on with my day. If I forgot to confirm, there is no notification regarding my getting tested. I do understand that this is because the administration values the results of the test more and that having the results is a clear indicator that I was in fact there at the test, but the lack of clinical precision leaves enough room for paranoia to transform into suspicion.
So then, how can we be doing so well without following all the rules set out for us students before we even returned? It seems, perhaps, that the rules do not have much bearing on the actions of students. This arbitrarily scandalous piece of insight leads me to believe we should perhaps have fewer weekly necessities for testing than is asked of us. I would be somewhat less vehement about the app if there was a bit more transparency between the administration and what the students report on CoVerified. Although the lack of communication leaves room for worrisome speculation, I would rather not have my routine, or that of most students, changed from what it is any further. Perhaps the Community Contract could be altered and optimized to only that which is proven to be more effective and responsive. Until then, it seems some rules are just more important than others.