Pandemic won’t end until we take it seriously

Staff Editorial

Living in a county with over 9,000 Covid-19 cases and the highest ratio of positive to negative tests taken in the state, one would think students would take the pandemic seriously. Yet, scrolling through Instagram or even looking around campus, there are myriad examples of students in large groups, no masks and without a care in the world. Looking through social media, it would be nearly impossible to tell there was a pandemic at all.

Parties have not ceased, even with cases in the 15-24 demographic rising by over three times, according to the World Health Organization. Students who still attend large social gatherings may not be severely affected themselves, but are putting others around them at risk. This selfish outlook of, “if it doesn’t affect me, it must not be important” is emblematic of a greater issue. By potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19, you are putting at risk everyone around you and rendering their attempts at social distancing futile. 

This is also an issue for the local businesses that provide the area with such a distinct, living culture. Many businesses are attempting to wait out the lowered numbers of patrons, but this can’t last forever. Countries like New Zealand, which have successfully kept national cases low, were able to return to life as usual, and their economies are rebuilding. This cannot happen in America as long as cases continue to rise, and the effects could be long-lasting.

It goes without saying that politics also have a hand in people’s opinions of COVID-19, but it cannot be stressed enough how irresponsible of an idea this is. Allowing politics to control the public opinion during a health crisis is a dangerous concept, and one we need to pull away from if this is to end any time soon. No matter where on the political spectrum you fall, lives are at risk and you could potentially be harming someone else.

With this in mind, it becomes clear that it is better to take the pandemic too seriously in retrospect than not seriously enough. Ignoring the individual impact of attending social events is inherently selfish and reckless. Deciding the guidelines of social distancing simply don’t apply to you could hurt yourself or someone else. We are presented with a situation where one poorly thought-out decision in your youth could have consequences that follow you for the rest of your life. So ask yourself, is that party really worth it?