It’s week three of the Fall Semester. Since upperclassmen have returned to Athens, COVID-19 cases have spiked. There are, as of Sept. 9, 53 active cases in Athens. This may not seem like a lot, but it becomes a lot when you have the virus and continue to go to bars and parties.

I get it. We’re young adults who haven’t seen our friends in Athens since before spring break. We have missed our friends and we’ve missed socializing. It’s a lot to ask college students to completely stay away from other people. This isn’t an excuse to be careless, though. You can still have fun while social distancing or keeping groups on the smaller side, but if you knowingly have COVID-19, you have to take one for the team and sit the bench for a week or so. 

I have overheard on several occasions of people that have the virus and continue to party. If this is something you are doing or your friends are doing, then you don’t “love Athens,” you love partying in Athens. 

We need to understand that there is a community of people that live here year-round, at all times. They don’t come here for school for a few years and leave. This is their community that they happily and humbly share with us; in this pandemic, we need to understand that in the way that they have sacrificed having loud and rowdy neighbors and a wild uptown area on the weekends, it is now our turn to make a sacrifice. 

Don’t go out if you have COVID-19. Don’t have people over. Don’t hang out in the courtyard of your apartment. Do what the physicians who tested you and told you that you are positive for the virus tell you to do. Isolate. Stay away from other people because you risk giving it to them, and then they are at risk of giving it to the other people they will inevitably be around. If you were to keep track of all the people you see in one weekend, and then got a list from them and tracked all the people they see in that same weekend, how many people would you be spreading the virus to? 

The fear of missing out is definitely real and could make you feel uneasy; not going out for a week or so is unexciting and monotonous, especially if you are used to doing so, but I promise you that the good (socially-distanced) times will be there for you when you get healthy. If you continue to spread COVID-19 and hurt this community that same promise cannot be kept. 

Mikayla Rochelle is a senior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.