We have entered a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
We no longer wake up every day to increasing numbers of deaths, infections, and reminders about social distancing and vaccine shortages. Instead, we now read about record low numbers of infections, limited fatalities, and a domestic surplus of vaccine so large that we are now vaccinating children as young as 12 and may be exporting it by June.
And, just last week, the CDC dispensed with mask guidance for vaccinated people. This prompted President Biden to host his first “maskless” appearance of his presidency. For college leaders planning the summer and fall semesters, it’s a 180-degree turnaround that we were afraid to hope for just last year.
Yet here we are. The question now vexing colleges is how to safely reopen on-ground learning with a pandemic in retreat. It’s a nice problem to have, but it still has to be solved.