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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Gross: Stop complaining, do what’s right, wear a mask

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(Graphic Illustration by Falyn Sebastian | The Collegian)

Dillon Gross, Collegian Columnist

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.

Since the beginning of the pandemic about two years ago, there have been many efforts to bring America together in this time of need. Some of those involved food drives for people facing poverty or movements to help those struggling with their mental health during isolation.

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However, the pandemic has split the country on multiple fronts, with many people finding themselves unable to do what is right to protect themselves and their community.

This was partially a result of misinformation that was streamlined by former President Donald Trump but also represents the pre-pandemic cultural shift away from believing scientists and choosing to believe posts on social media instead.

“Seriously, just wear the mask. Stop complaining, and wear it over your nose and mouth.”

Even before the COVID-19 vaccine became available to the general public in the spring of 2021, scientists expected vaccine hesitancy. Much of modern vaccine hesitancy was caused by the myth that vaccines led to autism, which started in the late 1990s. That hesitancy has created an entire subculture of anti-vaxxers who refuse to vaccinate their children or themselves and have most recently refused the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are many valid concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but almost all of them can be debunked easily with research. Many were skeptical until it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23, but vaccination rates didn’t skyrocket afterward.

Vaccines are the quickest way for life to get back to normal, but anti-vaxxers are holding strong and refusing to get their vaccine. To those people, there’s one simple thing you can be doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t involve anything going directly into your body: Wear a mask.

It is really that simple. Wear a cloth or a medical mask, and wear it above your nose. Wear a mask when you’re inside public places. Wear a mask on public transit. 

There are mandates in place requiring masks within Larimer County and at the state and federal level, but this is a law some people don’t mind breaking. There are even mandates for it here at Colorado State University, but walk around Morgan Library for 10 minutes, and you’ll see people breaking it.

Wearing a mask is not hard, especially around campus. It’s not difficult to wear a piece of cloth on your face when you’re just sitting in class and watching TikToks while the professor is lecturing. There’s no reason you can’t wear a mask when you’re standing in line waiting for coffee.

Despite this, it’s still something that’s so hard for some people. Studies show that only about half of Americans are actually wearing their masks, and that number varies between different places in the United States.

Admittedly, there are some downsides to wearing masks. If you’re doing heavy labor or exercising, it can make breathing difficult. People have experienced flares in acne due to masks. Those who have nose piercings are unable to show off their cool jewelry.

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“Masks protect against the most basic sicknesses, like strep throat, the flu and the common cold. They’re not typically life-threatening like COVID-19 is, but they are still transmissible.”

However, none of those things — or any other reason — is comparable to actually getting COVID-19. Even if you’re young and have a high chance of survival, having COVID-19 is being linked to serious long-term effects, many of which are still being discovered due to the novelty of the virus. 

Seriously, just wear the mask. Stop complaining, and wear it over your nose and mouth.

With the emergence of yet another COVID-19 strain, the omicron variant, personal protection remains incredibly important. There are so many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19, but it is known — and proven — that masks work.

More than just COVID-19, masks protect against the most basic sicknesses, like strep throat, the flu and the common cold. They’re not typically life-threatening like COVID-19 is, but they are still transmissible, and having a bad cold can really ruin your week. 

It’s not infringing upon your liberties or taking away your freedom, as claimed by anti-maskers. It’s just a considerate thing to do. It’s the easiest and least painful thing you can do to protect yourself and your community. No one wants to get a virus and die, so get the shot and wear your mask.

Reach Dillon Gross at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @dillongrosss.

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  • J

    Jim NewcombDec 8, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Masking and Vacciine Mandates are coming to an end. They do more harm than good.

    Reply
  • I

    Iam MeDec 8, 2021 at 10:25 am

    The biggest problem with this opinion is the undisputable fact that masks do not prevent the spread of viruses.

    Reply