Editorial 2/12/21

Uma Bhatia, Opinions Editor

We want to emphasize how selfish it is to have social gatherings without any safety precautions. The U.S. is behind other countries in fighting the spread of COVID-19. Participating in unmasked gatherings inside exacerbates this problem. The odds of getting COVID are around 20% higher indoors. With Superbowl weekend just behind us, it provides a perfect opportunity for everyone to reevaluate their actions and correct them going forward. We can’t change the past, but it is imperative that we all make responsible choices now. 

Withholding from large gatherings with your friends and loved ones is tough, but doing so would be a lot easier if everyone was making the same sacrifices. When those of us who have been giving up practically all unsafe social events see pictures of other kids with their friends, it makes it much harder for us to continue making the same sacrifices. Everyone has to do their part, and although we all miss our friends and physical contact, we can achieve normalcy much faster if people socially distance and wear masks. 

This is not just the responsibility of our fellow students. Parents who are allowing—and even hosting—large indoor gatherings need to put the health of our community over one fun night for their child. Parents worried about their kids’ social wellbeing may want to consider finding ways for them to connect with friends.

There are many ways to safely interact with people. LBHS has ample opportunities for students to get involved and combat loneliness. There are countless clubs always searching for new members and ASB hosts virtual assemblies. Even getting together with friends safely outdoors is responsible. Outdoor picnics, beach days, and even grabbing lunch with a friend are all great ways to be social while being safe. As long as you wear masks and socially distance, it would be a safe way to get together.  

A study by the Lancet shows that masks lower your chance of getting the virus by 65%. It all boils down to wearing your mask, regardless if you believe it to be uncomfortable and annoying. In the words of New Jersey’s Governor, Phil Murphy, “You know what’s really uncomfortable and annoying? When you die.” We can’t reach the finish line of the pandemic until more of us embrace our collective responsibility. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimates that with efficient vaccinations we could achieve herd immunity by late 2021

How many more people have to say their parting words to a loved one through a screen as they die? Stop killing people. It’s not fair.