Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has reshaped how we live our lives. It has changed everything about our lives that we previously took for granted, forcing us to shift our entire world indoors for months.
From social distancing to wearing masks, it has significantly impacted the way Colorado State University students are studying, working and relaxing on campus. With the sheer amount of COVID-19 news that comes out every day, it can become overwhelming to look at the current state of our response, especially the long road ahead toward reestablishing any kind of normalcy.
It is easy to overlook the benefits of wearing a mask or social distancing by thinking that your singular actions won’t get someone else sick. Buying into this false way of thinking, however, will only perpetuate risky behaviors in others. Masks are more effective if everyone wears them, but if some people choose not to, it will only make public spaces less safe for everyone.
Ignoring public health guidelines in favor of going to crowded bars, restaurants or parties might seem appealing in the middle of ever-changing online classes and less face-to-face interaction in classes, but just because COVID-19 may not severely impact you doesn’t mean it won’t impact others.
Just last week, President Joyce McConnell warned that all classes will go virtual if students aren’t obeying public health guidelines and cases increase. If you want any semblance of an in-person semester, then you have a vested interest in caring about public health measures, including CSU’s mandatory mask ordinance in buildings and public spaces and the 10 person limit on group gatherings.
“Just because cOVID-19 may not severely impact you doesn’t mean it won’t impact others.”
Moreover, young adults are continuing to test positive for COVID-19 in increasing numbers, and while this doesn’t mean that their cases are severe, it puts them at risk of being carriers for vulnerable populations. In fact, some researchers are concerned that young adults could trigger a second wave of the virus as they are more likely to be carriers. While you may not get very sick from hitting up bars in Old Town, anyone you come in contact with afterward could suffer from the consequences of your decision.
Honestly, everyone is trying to get through this pandemic the best ways they know how. But with rising financial, economic and political stressors, we need to recognize that being apathetic toward this virus will only inhibit efforts to stop the spread and may end up inadvertently hurting others.
So the next time you want to hang out with friends, skip the bar and opt for a socially-distant and mask-friendly environment because everyone is counting on you.
Corinne Neustadter can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @cneustad.