COVID-19 Is Not Over, Wear A Mask

Mask mandates are beginning to relax in LA County


Graphic by Gabby Flores/SAC.Media

It is no joke that COVID-19 took the world by storm bringing unimaginable losses and pain. Families mourned their loved ones while life as we once knew it stopped.

Now, as COVID-19 cases begin to drop with LA County set to lift restrictions, we are left wondering, what next? Do we continue to wear a mask? Is it really okay to resume our lives as if nothing happened?

The real answer is: who knows? I sure don’t. I can’t tell you to resume your life as if nothing happened. I can’t pretend that the last 2 years weren’t a nightmare. But what I can tell you is, wear a mask.

You may be sick of living under the shadow of COVID-19 and believe me, I am too. But it is for that reason that I refuse to stop wearing a mask. Yes, that very thing that has caused great controversy and protests outside of schools and city council meetings.

Despite your opinions on masks and COVID-19, masks have been very useful in preventing the spread of the virus. According to the CDC, the use of masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Combined with vaccines, the use of masks have brought upon another positive trait: the spread of germs. Yes, you read that correctly.

Put it this way: have you ever found yourself walking out in public minding your own business and then someone sneezes in your direction? That disgusting feeling of snot landing on your face has left you with thoughts and feelings of disgust right?

So why not just wear a mask? COVID-19 spreads the same way through sneezing among other ways. The mask mandates were set in place to help slow the spread for a good reason and nobody batted an eye. Locally, here in LA County, masks were strongly encouraged.

Masks are like a VIP pass granting you access to grocery stores, schools, and public transportation. Now with the new mandate set to go on Feb. 16, the thought of maskless people terrifies me.

No, the mere thought of seeing someone’s face is not what terrifies me. It’s the thought of coming into contact with an unvaccinated person. I have an underlying disease and yes while I am fully vaccinated, I am choosing to wear a mask. Despite Mt. SAC’s required mask mandate indoors for the remainder of the semester, the new mandate will change everything.

Judging by how many people wish to see a relaxed mask mandate here in LA County, the question looms: will we see another COVID-19 wave? I understand the frustration and how uncomfortable masks are. But to fully relax mask mandates indoors and outdoors has got to be the most idiotic thing in the world. It often feels like we ask for these new COVID-19 waves with the lack of understanding of how viruses work.

Yes, people are still catching COVID-19 and these relaxed mask mandates will only hurt us, not help us. While students are required to wear masks inside classrooms, how can we be sure I won’t sit next to someone who refuses to wear a mask due to LA County’s relaxed mask mandate?

COVID-19 is not over. It will not be over until we reach herd immunity. Until COVID-19 becomes endemic and cases fall below 600, I will be wearing a mask and so should you. Do your part. Wear a mask.