OPINION: This isn’t going anywhere

Morgan Carr, Creative Managing Editor

I hope you’re settled in and ready to hunker down, because I’m here to tell you that unless some godly miracle makes it so everyone suddenly listens to scientists and health professionals and cares for others’ wellbeing, this virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This means wearing masks and staying six feet apart and no concerts or bars or football games for the foreseeable future. Even into 2022 or beyond.

We live in a country where the existence and impact of this virus is apparently of political opinion. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that the entire world facing a health crisis and subsequent recession is a ‘hoax’ to benefit one side or other of American politics. Believe it or not, the rest of the world does not prioritize the success or failure of the US; they have better things to do, their own countries to run.

The statement that ‘it only kills old people and people with underlying conditions’ is morbid and devalues the lives of other humans. Age, health, and ability are not indicators of worth, and everyone has a right to life. Ignorance is bliss, but at this point ignorance is willful, selfish, irresponsible, and dangerous.

Unfortunately, those of us following the guidelines are in a massive, life-altering group project with some of the most selfish people on earth. You can do your very best to keep away and sanitize, but somebody who just can’t stand to not go to parties is gonna mess it up for everyone. Individualistic attitudes will be the death of so many people, and it won’t even be fair.

And what’s worse is that I’m even more angry at the people running the show. A presidential administration that wants less testing (because if you stop counting, there are less numbers), a governor who vaguely suggests we should wear masks while actively fighting city-wide mask mandates, and a university system that puts a bunch of socially starved young people back on campus face-to-face without considering how quickly this can sweep through a population. How did this become an issue of individual responsibility? There were so many things our leaders could have done to protect us, but they’ve just thrown us to the dogs for the sake of what? The economy? The economy over human lives.

So now, it really is up to us, all of us, making individual choices each day to suppress the spread of this virus. You do not live in a bubble, and despite what your parents may tell you, you are not the center of the universe. There are other people in this world that you come into contact with, like in class or at the store, and you do not know these people’s stories. You don’t know if they have invisible underlying conditions that put them at higher risk than you. You don’t know if they have people at home in the high-risk group either.

Now think of every person in the world in this way. Think of a line of dominos made of stone, and out of every 100 dominos 3 are made of glass. When you trip that line, the stone ones can be set back up, but the glass ones will shatter. A ‘regular healthy person’ is a stone domino, but their friends, family, coworkers, and just random people they pass by with underlying conditions, compromised immune systems, and sometimes just poor luck are the glass ones. Not everyone comes out of this unscathed.

For these reasons, we all must take on the responsibilities our leaders have failed to. If you want this nightmare to end, you must take action and encourage others in your life to do so as well. Taking precautions is a very clear indicator of your level of empathy toward your peers. Just remember when you see someone in a mask, that means they care for your safety.