I have read a few defeatist editorial letters from students and organizations that do not believe that Protect Purdue can be successful. While I am not going to defend any of the administration’s claims, I will say that I take this very seriously as a parent of a new student.

What I will say is that I am in healthcare and specifically in Senior Healthcare. We have a huge responsibility to keep ourselves and our residents safe. Before we had any PPE, we had to learn very quickly how to avoid this disease and work with little supplies or knowledge of the ramifications of this disease.

Two months later, after many cases of COVID-19, we are able to say that we are 100% COVID free and this has been the case for almost 3 months. It was really very simple; we have universal masking anywhere within our facility; we wash our hands often and properly and distance as much as possible; we do not come to work (school) if we have ANY symptoms. Anything else done has just been a distraction.

The point is, this is 100% avoidable and survivable. The shields, screens and constant disinfection of surfaces was a big waste and we found (with much evidence to support this) that the main factors in avoiding the transmission was to mask, wash hands and pay attention to potential symptoms. Students can certainly be expected to do this and can be successful at it. If they are expected to take on the massive task of getting an education while living on their own, they can wear a mask and wash hands.

So, it is up to the student populace to help this work and it can be done.

Please don’t defeat it before it starts.

– Ron Mangas, Purdue alumnus.

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