On Jan. 20, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Some students feel nervous for this inauguration ceremony because of the risks with COVID-19 and the insurrection on Capitol Hill. 

Across the country, many Americans will tune in to watch the ceremony at home. Many Eckerd students will have to stream the ceremony by themselves due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Junior Dawson Newton said he will watch the inauguration by himself because his friends are in quarantine. 

“I watched Obama’s. Then Trump’s, sadly,” Newton said. “And now, this is going to be my third one that I officially watch.”

President Fernández’s most recent email to the Eckerd community confirmed that in-person classes would resume after a temporary shut-down of operations due to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases. The email says students should still avoid group gatherings. Even if students are social distancing, they should limit their close contacts to only their roommates. 

Junior Alexandra Philippidis said she will probably watch the inauguration by herself as well. She said she understands the importance of the inauguration, but believes this ceremony isn’t appropriate at the moment.

“How far does the importance go if we’re going to do it during a pandemic?” Philippidis said. 

Newton said he hopes the inauguration goes as planned, but is slightly nervous based on what happened when a mob stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. 

“I want to say it's gonna go fine,” Newton said. “But based off of what happened at the Capitol, I'm nervous.”

For many students, this inauguration is likely to be the only one they will experience in college. Many remember President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

Philippidis said she specifically remembers watching Trump’s inauguration in her AP psychology class in high school. 

“Trump’s is the first one I really remembered,” Philippidis said. “But I think this one is going to be more personally important to me.” 

For Newton, Inauguration Day is the same day as his birthday. He said he’s watched the past two inaugurations on his birthday and plans to watch this next one.

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