This is The Mav’s first editorial of the 2020-2021 school year. Editorials are an opinion written on behalf of the publication’s editors about an issue we feel is important and have an agreed-upon stance. We chose this topic because we, as editors, believe that wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial and want to emphasize the importance of wearing a face covering. These articles are meant to persuade readers and to promote critical thinking while sometimes encouraging people to take action.
The coronavirus has affected millions of individuals all over the world, and with rapid spread dating back to March 2020 and earlier, most U.S. citizens have been told to wear masks and self-quarantine at some point. While experts and journalists struggle to agree on whether COVID-19 has slowed or is on the uptick, Governor Polis has continued to implement a statewide mandate to wear masks in public places indefinitely.
Although all public places are (or should be) requiring masks in order to enter, some young people still aren’t using a face covering when leaving their homes. This is a substantial issue.
Just last week, the Denver Post reported that CU Boulder students are to be fined for not following social distancing protocols and continuing to have parties that flout the state’s rules.
Wearing masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. We understand that many claim to know their bodies and believe they would know if they are sick, but with the abundance of unknowns associated with COVID-19, it is no longer safe to trust one’s gut.
It has been proven that many people, specifically young and healthy individuals, are asymptomatic, meaning that their bodies do not reflect the common symptoms (fever, coughing, congestion, etc.). According to the CDC, some can be infected with COVID-19 for 7-14 days without any symptoms.
On that note, it is important to remind readers that symptoms range from a simple headache to pain in the chest and have been recorded in those as young as six weeks old.
Furthermore, Weld County has 4,113 current known cases, and Boulder County has 2,361. The majority of our students and families reside in these two counties.
In the last two weeks, there has been a slight decrease overall in Colorado (three percent), according to The New York Times. While a decrease in cases is welcome news, this is still not where cases ought to be in order for Colorado residents to ease up on COVID-19 restrictions. Masks are necessary until this virus is under control — this is no time for leniency.
We understand that it may be inconvenient to some, and many are growing tired of wearing masks, but if wearing a mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19 quicker, why not do our part to slow, if not cease, the pandemic?
While we are speaking directly to our peers in this article, it is worth mentioning that adults appear to struggle with wearing their masks as well. Some of us often hear at our various workplaces that adult customers conveniently left their mask in their car, they have breathing conditions, or there is no need to wear a mask because this particular customer is friends with the manager or boss. We admit that there are rare situations where it is acceptable to be maskless, such as the case of serious respiratory issues; however, in most circumstances, you should be able to spare a moment to walk back to your car or a couple dollars to order a visor as opposed to a mask.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of September 4, 28 percent of adult critical care ventilators are in use in. Once again, it is good news that we are not at capacity in terms of ventilators; however, we do not want to grow close to crossing that threshold. Do your part to stop, or at least slow, the current pandemic, giving hospitals the time to help their ill patients and returning things to normal earlier.
Nobody is perfect, especially high school students and adolescents who are still growing and learning — we all forget to wear a mask every now and then or remove our face covering if we’re at a park or walking to our cars. We truly understand that; however, if you’re not going to maintain social distancing parameters or are in a building, it would be the mature thing to do to wear a mask.
Maturity means doing our part. Maturity means thinking about others’ needs over our own. Maturity means considering the safety of our grandparents and immunity compromised peers. It means dealing with inconveniences because it is for the greater good.
We’d like to end by focusing our final statement on those who remain unconvinced about wearing masks consistently and following state mandates: We know our world is hectic right now, but it’s not about you. It’s about keeping our community and the people around us safe.
Tips for how to accurately wear a mask:
Make sure your mask completely covers your nose and mouth and is secured snugly under your chin.
If possible, make sure the sides of your mask fit tightly (but not restricting) against your face. One way to do this is to tuck the sides of your face mask back into the mask or to twist the elastics once before putting your mask on. This will ensure that there are no wide openings on the mask.
For additional tips, visit the CDC website.