NC State students ready for normal as Fauci suggests end to pandemic

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Jennifer Kovacs and Neha Ramkumar haven't had it easy the past two years with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The end of the semester got it, so it's been a little more normal," said Kovacs.

"I think it's really taking a toll on students though because we've had to transition to this," Ramkumar said. "I graduated in 2020."

Both are suitemates at NC State and both have gone through the end of high school and now the first two years at NC State in the middle of COVID. Their first year here, they lived at home.

"We're at a safer place now," said Kovacs. "We have the vaccine and we're young, so I think it's OK to go back to normal with summer and stuff. It's exciting to get back to what it used to be."

Ramkumar, who's from Cary and graduated from Panther Creek High School, said "I want my 20s but I think we have to wait a little bit. I think it's the beginning of the end."

The end feels closer especially after hearing from top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday, who said the United States is "out of the pandemic phase."

Dr. David Wohl, an infectious diseases expert at UNC Health, is pumping the brakes though.

"It depends what you want," he said. "If you want to avoid getting infected at all, you should be careful right now because cases are going up, they're not going down."

He's optimistic though because while case counts are up statewide, hospital admissions continue to trend down.

CDC data this week showed that 60% of the population had been exposed to the Omicron variant.

According to Wohl, this, without knowing it, might have led us to herd immunity.

"We have a lot of immunity right now and we're reaping the benefits of this," he said. "So we should keep it up not by going out there and getting infected because you could lose the COVID lottery and get really sick or get really sick but by keeping up the vaccinations."

Wohl isn't saying don't go out of your house. Instead, it's about assessing the amount of risk you're willing to take.
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