Graphic by Stephanie Arana
Imagine this: mask restrictions are lifted, social distancing isn’t required and all social events are permitted. All students are allowed back in school at the same time, while big businesses and amusement parks reopen. Are you going to wear your mask and keep a safe distance from people who aren’t in your household? Or are you going to take your chances because someone told you it was okay?
Currently, every state has been moving at their own pace, some feeling more comfortable than others, but all have the same controversial argument between their residents: wearing masks. There have been almost 30 million COVID-19 cases in the US, with some months being better than others, but we still have new cases appearing every day. States have announced restrictions being lifted and reopening large businesses despite President Biden’s warnings.
With the vaccines being distributed, state governments have felt like this step forward means that they can leap ahead of time and rush us out of this pandemic. I, on the other hand, believe that we shouldn’t rush the process. There have been studies that have shown that wearing a mask led to a reduction of the likability of a virus being caught in the air by three times. According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. This is why social distancing is so strongly advised. Why take all these selfish risks that could cost many people their lives, just so we can have our old ones back? I wouldn’t want to go back to those so-called lives if we’re just spending most of it being worried about getting sick or getting others sick.
I worry about what will happen when kids my age who want to be safe feel motivated to do the wrong thing because otherwise they would be seen as “lame.” Before any further steps are taken, the school topic should be number one on the list of things to fix.
The small sacrifices that we make by being cautious of our surroundings and preventing the spread of germs will help end this pandemic that has torn apart loved ones. By being reckless, our actions will only drive us further away. Living in fear for our safety leads to a poor quality of life. Fear is no way to live. Knowing what we are truly facing is our greatest weapon. Full knowledge equals real power.
Comment down below if you are going to continue to follow COVID-19 restrictions.