Op-Eds Opinion

Priest: A friendly reminder, please wear your mask

By Danny Priest

Let me run you through a couple of hypothetical situations quickly. 

You walk through a door and see someone else coming in behind you, do you hold the door or let it shut on them?

You see an elderly person struggling with some sort of task. Maybe it’s working with technology, carrying groceries or something else. Do you help them out or just let them handle things on their own?

You go out to eat and the check comes and there’s the option to tip the server, do you tip them for their work or just leave no money?

I’m going to go ahead and guess that the majority of people reading this picked the first response in each of those situations.

Why? Because it’s human decency. Most people typically treat others well, have respect for their peers and try to be good.

So, let me ask another question.

If you were living through an unprecedented pandemic featuring a new, highly contagious virus that has killed 181,000 Americans and counting, but doctors urged people that wearing a mask could limit the spread of the virus, would you do so?

I sincerely hope your answer to that question is yes. Wearing a mask is the least we can do to be decent people.  

Now, let me stop and address people who are going to throw excuses at me. Here are some common ones: the virus is a hoax, it’s not dangerous to young people, a mask makes it hard to breath, I’m sure we’ve heard them all.

Well, here’s what I say.

According to the World Health Organization, we’re up to 23,806,794 cases worldwide (as of Aug. 24). That’s a number so big that the majority of you reading this probably didn’t try to figure out what it actually read. 

Over 800,000 people have lost their lives to the virus and in America that number is over 180,000 casualties.

People are losing loved ones, families are suffering and our country as a whole is living through its worst year in a long time.

All of that is very real and scary.

For the past five months, living in a pandemic has felt pretty hopeless, but there has really only been one way we can fight back.

It’s to wear a mask.

It’s not to party, it’s not to ignore social distancing guidelines because you missed your friends, it’s to put that mask on for the protection of yourself and those around you.

It helps. Maybe it does not always feel like it, but it does.

At Springfield College, we pride ourselves on leadership and service to others. We help those in need, we hold those doors open and we treat one another kindly. 

Now, with everything 2020 has thrown our way, the best way to help this semester is to please wear your mask.

That simple action can quite literally save lives. Please, be good to one another and wear your mask, our time spent on this campus depends on it. 

Photo: Danny Priest/The Student

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