COVID-19 has prevented Anglo-American University students from beginning their semester in person, yet again. The Czech Republic has been hit hard, with the highest infection rate per capita in the EU. While there is plenty of information regarding the pandemic within the country, it’s difficult to determine how many students at AAU alone have been personally diagnosed with the virus.
In order to gain an understanding of COVID-19’s impact on the AAU community, the Lennon Wall created a survey that was emailed to the student body. A total of 251 students, or about 44 percent, of the 565 enrolled Spring semester students participated in the survey. Responses to the survey were received anonymously and are intended to showcase student opinions and experiences with COVID-19.
Among the students that participated in the survey, 15.2 percent, or 38 students, have gotten COVID-19. Many students that had the virus shared their experience.
“[I had COVID-19] the easiest way,” an anonymous AAU student said. “[I] only had a fever for a couple days and then lost taste and smell for two weeks.”
While many students did report similar experiences with mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or loss of taste and smell, some reported none at all. However, some participants described more severe bouts with the virus.
“I’ve gotten it twice-the first time was really bad, [I] was in the hospital,” another anonymous AAU student reported. “The second time with the UK strain was not as bad, just loss of smell and taste.”
The wide variety of experiences between AAU students reveals that COVID-19 impacts everyone differently. Although researchers do not know why this is the case, it reveals that college students should continue to practice social distancing and wear masks in order to protect themselves and their peers.
That being said, the Lennon Wall also asked students who had not tested positive for COVID-19 if they thought they would test positive in the future. The question received 215 responses, 83 or 38.6 percent of which believe they will get COVID-19 at some point. Since the virus is highly transmissible and some countries such as the United States are beginning to ease restrictions due to increased vaccination rates, it is logical to assume that some AAU students will contract COVID-19. On the other hand, students that continue to socially isolate until they are able to obtain a vaccine are less likely to get the virus.
The final question on the survey asked if the current situation in Prague was concerning. 248 AAU students responded; 83.5 percent, or 207 students, said that the situation in Prague is concerning them. The Czech Republic has the second highest covid deaths per million in the world, just behind the microstate San Marino. While AAU students are undoubtedly becoming restless after a year of restrictions and the current lockdown, this statistic proves that students have an understanding of the severity of the pandemic.
Although it is unlikely that the AAU student body will end up back on campus this semester, this survey is a reminder that both students in Prague and those abroad are in this together. Each experience with COVID-19 or time spent in quarantine is different for each student, but there is some comfort in knowing that a fellow classmate may be going through something similar.
The Lennon Wall thanks each student for their participation in our survey. We hope to see you back on campus soon, but in the meantime we wish you good health and nothing but the best!