Student spotlight banner with image of Joe Wilson
Student spotlight banner with image of Joe Wilson

Student blog: The importance of continuing to keep everyone safe

Joe Wilson is a final-year medical student, at Oxford. He helped to set up the Early Alert Service and helps to feed student views into the University’s COVID-19 response. In his latest blog, Joe explains why he believes that, with Omicron more contagious than previous variants and posing a serious health risk for certain people, we should all continue to be considerate and safe.

As we once again phase back to in-person teaching, there are many things to take comfort in: COVID-19 cases are trending down across the country; local hospital numbers remain steady; and an extraordinary number of people have come forward for their booster vaccine, including several hundred recently at the University Club.

However, the measures we continue to take to limit the spread of infection are not infallible. We must be mindful of the risks the Omicron variant continues to pose, particularly given its profound ability to be transmitted between individuals despite vaccination, even compared to the previous Delta variant. Moreover, the risks this virus poses are much more considerable to some in our community for many reasons: a fellow student in your lecture who has diabetes; your tutor who looks after their elderly mother; the porter who has asthma.

The small and simple measures we can take to limit infection go much further than just protecting ourselves – they go a long way to protecting those around us, and in particular those to whom COVID poses considerable risk. We should be mindful that COVID is an airborne virus, and as such continuing to wear face coverings in crowded areas, and propping doors and windows open to allow proper ventilation greatly reduces the risk of transmission.

We should also remember that others may have a different attitude towards COVID than ourselves. If a fellow student or member of staff asks you to wear a face covering, please do so, as the major benefit from this may in fact be allowing them to feel more comfortable. We all deserve to study and work in an environment in which we feel safe and at ease; our small actions can have an enormous impact on others.

Everything is heading in the right direction. Let’s continue to take these small steps that will allow us to keep COVID-19 cases under control, protect others around us, and return to the way of life that we all enjoyed before the pandemic.