EDITORIAL: Friends don't let friends spread COVID-19

By The Beacon | February 17, 2021 5:46pm
A roll out of vaccines doesn't mean you can stop wearing a mask. Photo illustration by Brennan Crowder.
Media Credit: Brennan Crowder / The Beacon

Over these past 11 months, we’ve watched quarantine turn from a two week shut down into a way of life. We all desperately want this pandemic to end, but vaccines alone won’t be enough. We all have to do our part to turn the tide.

With new variants of the virus being confirmed in Oregon and around the world, experts are advising people to double up on masks. Unfortunately, not everyone among us is in the habit of wearing even one mask.

It may be tempting to ease up with following these protocols if you feel safe within your “closed” bubble of friends, but that does not give you an exemption from adhering to the regulations that everyone else is following. No matter how safe you think your bubble is, everyone needs to be a team player.

Right now, you’re participating in the biggest group project ever and there’s a lot more at stake than just your grade. Now it is especially imperative for those living on campus, whether you’re a resident, an athlete, or a member of hall staff to comply with these behaviors to show that you understand how to protect and care, not only about yourself but also your community. 

According to the Pilots Prevent Dashboard, there have already been students in quarantine and in isolation. While it seems inevitable that positive cases will increase over the semester, we can all play our part in making sure that number remains as low as possible. 

So do your part. If you see someone whose mask has slipped below their nose, don’t be afraid to politely remind them to wear it properly; it’s the friendly thing to do.

If for some reason you’re not wearing your mask correctly and someone asks you to do so, please comply; it is your civic duty. They’re not asking you to be mean, or to embarrass you, or to “infringe on your rights”. They’re thinking about their own safety and health, as well as that of their friends, family and community. No need to become a defensive, overdramatic Karen.

Don’t be misled into thinking that just because vaccines are starting to roll out that we are nearing the end of the pandemic. If you’ve received the vaccine, or know someone who has, celebrate that good news, but continue to do your part in protecting those you share your space with.

This is not a conspiracy. These are facts. Properly wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands helps slow the spread of the coronavirus. Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by ignoring rules that are in place to ensure the safety of an entire community.

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