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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Seriously: CSU’s daily symptom checker could solve the pandemic

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names and the events surrounding them may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

Fall semester 2020 is finally here. We should all know by now that this academic year will be far from normal, but honestly, most of us are probably excited to get back on campus, even if it only means being on campus for 30 minutes a week.


Some might wonder why being back in classrooms surrounded by freshman Juul clouds in a pandemic is something to look forward to. Shouldn’t being surrounded by hundreds of strangers worry us?

Earlier this summer that would have been a yes, but ever since Colorado State University provided students with the state-of-the-art daily symptom checker, I’ve never felt safer.

The daily symptom checker is like a COVID-19 guard dog for the entire campus. Nothing can get past its high-powered perceptions. Even the freshmen who show up late and over-caffeinated because they spent all night at a party can’t slip into the back rows of their lecture since the symptom checker won’t let them through the door without reporting their symptoms.

The best part of the daily symptom checker is the simple and infallible way that it works. All one has to do is be honest and reliable and record their flu-like symptoms, even if it means missing a week of lectures. That’s a piece of cake! Rams already take care of Rams, so the system is virtually watertight.

With this invincible virus filter keeping campus healthy and aware, I have no doubt that CSU can make it all the way to fall break without having to go virtual.

“Think about how quickly we could control the spread of COVID-19 if everyone had access to their own daily symptom checker.”

How did nobody think of this sooner? Why isn’t this technology being exported to the rest of the country, even to the world? Who would have guessed that all it takes to make large public places safe during a pandemic is to put faith in everyone’s accountability?

CSU has already done most of the legwork by creating this virtual guard dog and putting it on the school’s website. Now we just need to convince the administration to share this knowledge with the wider world.

Think about how quickly we could control the spread of COVID-19 if everyone had access to their own daily symptom checker. Everybody’s health would be accounted for, every positive case recorded and traced. We just need to trust in the public’s ability to be honest, transparent and responsible.

If something like CSU’s daily symptom checker were available to every American, I would bet money that the pandemic would be under control by the end of the year. The country could let out a masked sigh of relief knowing we finally have the means to effectively trace the virus.


What are we waiting for? We already trust everyone to keep everybody else’s well-being in mind.

Fellow Rams, it’s imperative that we acknowledge the potential of this daily symptom checker. If we remember to check our symptoms vigilantly and truthfully, we could show the world a new solution and be a part of the movement that brought COVID-19 to its knees. 

Cody Cooke can be reached at or on Twitter @CodyCooke17.

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About the Contributor
Cody Cooke
Cody Cooke, Opinion Director
Cody Cooke is the director of the opinion desk for The Collegian and has worked for the newspaper since December 2019. He is a senior studying English and history with a concentration in creative writing. Cooke joined the opinion desk as a consistent way to sharpen his writing and to get involved with other student writers. He began as a columnist and remained a regular writer for more than a year before moving into his director position. He sees opinion writing as a rich and important combination of argumentation and journalism — a way to present facts that goes beyond objective reporting and makes a point. He also sees it as one of the most accessible platforms for any writer to start building a career. Working at The Collegian has taught him to be accountable and responsible for his own work while being proud of creating something worth sharing to a large audience. While not always easy, Cooke's time at The Collegian has been one of the most constructive and satisfying experiences of his collegiate career. 

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