Dear Editor:

A primary hotspot for the COVID-19, Delta, and soon-to-be Omicron viruses (and more mutations to come) in Lane County is the UO. Like it or not the “me-me’s,” with the full blessing of the administration, leave town on breaks to points everywhere, especially California. When they return some bring a pandemic virus back to the classrooms, dorms, and our community.

It is Christmas break. UO students have scattered with the four winds and will be returning after New Year, about five weeks away. This is plenty of time for the UO, OHA and Lane County Public Health to finally get their acts together in forming a coalition to come up with collective preventative measures instead of stand-alone, funding-hoarding reactive window-dressing measures in minimizing the spread to come. Public safety and health should be their primary focus, not emergency funding-streams that can breed competition for dollars.

UO should go back to completely online classes and close the dorms, but money rears its ugly head and almost always gets its way. Out-of-state tuition is big bucks!!!

Get honest, confront reality – classrooms and dorms are petri dishes for viruses. In OHA daily reports on COVID infections by counties, Lane is almost always in the top three and, sometimes after a school break, number one. 

There is enough blame to go around for this dangerous condition, most of all the clueless and/or self-absorbed who refuse vaccination – many of whom are UO students.

James Houston, Eugene