McMurry and COVID-19 Preparedness


No one can deny that the world was unexpectedly shaken when the Coronavirus descended upon humanity’s heads. Panic set in, riots began, entire countries shut down, and now – months later—the effects of COVID-19 continue to influence society around us. 

Earlier this year, McMurry University was one of many institutions that made the impromptu decision to move all classes online in the face of a rapidly spreading pandemic. Although both faculty and students alike found the transition to be difficult, it was much safer than the alternative option of resuming normal in-person classes. Fortunately, McMurry’s spring semester was able to conclude in a safe manner, even if it was rather unconventional.

Over the summer, McMurry’s upcoming fall semester was the subject of intense debate as to how best to proceed amid the prevailing presence of COVID-19. Whether to go online or to have the university reconvene on campus was certainly a hot topic, but, in the end, it was announced that McMurry University would open in the fall as socially-distanced campus complete with many other COVID-19 regulations to ensure the safety of all involved. 

One of the most obvious and immediate changes is the mask requirement for all of those on campus. With masks being one of the most effective ways of preventing exposure to the virus, it was a necessary regulation. Returning students were asked to complete travel surveys detailing their whereabouts and whether or not they had come in contact with any infected persons. Guest privileges were changed dramatically with no outside guests allowed in campus living areas. Classroom seating arrangements were made to include a distance of six feet between chairs, and many classes were split in order to accommodate typical class sizes. In addition, daily temperature checks are required to enter most of McMurry’s buildings, as well as daily symptom checklists sent to anyone frequently on campus. 

Although some of the safety regulations implemented by McMurry University have not changed the daily life of most involved, other drastic changes left people disappointed and upset with the decision. One such example is the choice to have graduation and Homecoming online, only so as to prevent large crowds from different locations bringing the virus. Of course, many people, alumni and family especially were understandably frustrated with the university’s announcement, but unfortunately, a virus does not care about the feelings of those it infects, and in order to protect the health of its community, McMurry must adapt to defend itself. 

Despite the plethora of preventive measures McMurry has put in place, people catching the virus is unavoidable, in which case McMurry has strict quarantine guidelines to cut off further spread of the virus and catch future cases before they develop. The university has also decided to switch to a virtual campus the weeks following the Thanksgiving break. As students and faculty alike will be traveling to meet with their families, switching to online will prevent those traveling from bringing the virus back to campus. 

Even though the pandemic has not been easy on anyone, it is through the trials of tribulations of life that people innovate and become stronger, and the McMurry community has proven to be resilient and hopeful throughout it all.