Nina Howe-Goldstein ’25
Judge, Jury, and Executioner
Alleluia! An Easter miracle! On the third day after the massive COVID-19 surge, Scripps administrators awoke to find that their case numbers had swept away back into the single digits. The door to isolation housing was thrown open, and no pitiful students could be found inside.
The surge in cases had come as a shock to the campuses — though not so much to the average student, who awoke daily to friends’ increasingly casual alerts (“lol, fyi, i just tested positive”). Instead, it shocked adults and community leaders across the board. Email-watchers across the school were terrified by Dean di Bartolo-Beckman’s signoff switch from “In Community,” to “Stay Safe,” which many speculated was one of the seven apocalyptic seals breaking.
In the endearing, inexplicable stylings of a liberal arts college, panic immediately set in. Scripps took cross-campus dining to a farm upstate. Apparently influenced by the pro-eating disorder lobby, Malott imposed a labyrinthine takeout-only system that barred students from “swiping in” for a second time. Even SAS, in a Nietzschean attempt to increase knowledge of the Primary Contact Dean system, published an error-laden hot pink infographic that seemed to declare that students with “H” last names (a marginalized group near and dear to this author’s heart) had no PCD at all.
No further action was taken, though. One can imagine the personified Scripps (who, for lack of creativity, this author frequently imagines as New York Governor Kathy Hochul) brushing off her hands, declaring the Motley open, and going back to her office to edit the college into the “Seven Sisters” Wikipedia page. Eat shit, Vassar.
However, many students have still been feeling deprived of their God-given right to party. The news that Scripps would soon host an alumni weekend came as a shock to such Claremont luminaries as Instagram user @5c_nightlife_, who declared it an appalling lapse of health protocols. In response, she suggested the formation of a sort of frat bro picket line to protest the blatant favoritism.
(Scripps College being unfair? Quelle horreur! They’ve never done that before! No wonder 5c_nightlife_ was so upset.)
This author, however, must respectfully decline to partake in such a protest. She’s noise-sensitive, migraine-prone, and was a victim of the frankly underreported “Pissgate,” in which several male partiers had urinated in front of doorways on the Routt hallway carpet. (Less than a week later, the scandal was followed by “Shitgate,” in which a Clark bathroom was reportedly, well…) She has little patience for those who feel that their right to spread COVID-19 is being infringed upon in favor of people who are actively giving the school donations.
Now, this author is (as she so often emphasizes, to her friends’ dismay) a proud, uptight, red-blooded Episcopalian. And in the Episcopal tradition, the Sunday after Easter is often called “Low Sunday” in recognition of churches’ low attendance numbers. Indeed, the week following Easter even proved to be a “Low” case week, for which she is glad. And when she got out of her three-hour, chanted-through Easter Vigil, and had the opportunity to celebrate the redemption of mankind through the blessed sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord with ice cream and wine in the parish hall, she’s glad to not have given the church a severe respiratory disease either.
In spite of a federal administration that (despite its campaign promises) seems fully ready to toss immunocompromised people under the bus for a few extra points in the polls, Scripps may well continue with COVID-19 mitigation protocols like mask mandates, 1C dining, and even party restrictions in the fall. It’s impossible to know for sure. As this author reflects on her brief career as a student, she must conclude that the often-reactionary, confusing rules must be the result of a higher power beyond her comprehension — one not unlike her faith in the gay, incredibly formal Episcopal God.
She will leave you with the immortal words of Dr. Anthony Fauci:
“Don’t get the ‘VID, chucklefucks.”
Image Source: The Guardian