CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- After a second day of COVID cases at the University of Virginia skyrocketing to a record high, Dean Groves has released a statement.
“The speculation that Greek organizations are solely or primarily responsible for rising cases is not supported by evidence,” the statement read. “There is no way of knowing what could have caused this unprecedented spike that happened three days after we sanctioned in-person Bid Day. It could have been anything. It was probably your fault, actually.”
While in-person testing was cancelled on February 18 due to inclement weather, the 229 new cases on the 17th represented 10% of all new COVID cases in the entire state of Virginia, a place with 8.5 million inhabitants. This spike comes after many allegations that IFC and ISC Greek Life organizations were not following 6-person gathering restrictions, with footage of clear noncompliance widely circulated on social media. However, Dean Groves offered a counterpoint:
“If you saw people gathering in droves at Mad Bowl or the hundreds of Bid Day Instagram posts where restrictions are visibly not being observed, or heard about the first-year dorms where the majority of entire floors are in quarantine after coming into contact with Bid Day attendees, no you didn’t.”
Some UVA students have compared the tone of the email to gaslighting, an intense form of psychological manipulation in which someone tries to shatter your sense of truth and perception. For a casual and completely unrelated example, telling students there’s no evidence of groups of students violating restrictions or causing the increase in transmission, and that it’s actually everyone’s fault despite people seeing them gather in large groups for an extended period of time. Just a hypothetical off the top of my head. Maybe that didn’t happen, and I’m just actually insane, though.
The email finished with a vocabulary lesson, reminding us all that we live in the same place with a common goal: stopping the spread and keeping each other healthy and safe. Community means family, and enough of us are from the suburbs that here, family means having a spoiled adult child who doesn’t follow any of the rules, and refuses to apologize when the consequences of their actions are clearly visible, all while their mom does their laundry for them.