Opinion | Please, just wear your mask

Iowa is going belly up with COVID-19 and frankly, it’s just willful belligerence at this point.


Jenna Galligan

Photo Illustration by Jenna Galligan

Hannah Pinski, Opinions Columnist

To put it very bluntly, I’m fed up.

I’m frustrated that people are still going to the bars on game day and weekend nights. I’m sick of seeing house parties on people’s Snapchat stories with no social distancing. But most of all, I’m tired and angry that people are still refusing to wear a mask.

Iowa is currently experiencing record COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizationsThe UIHC has expressed concern that if these numbers keep up, they are not going to have enough hospital beds or staff to take care of everyone.

We have to wake up and realize that our behavior has direct consequences for the community. The debate about a mask being a symbol of personal freedom needs to end.

You have to wear a mask if you are going out to a public place. Back in July, the CDC announced that the U.S. could’ve had COVID-19 under control in two months if everyone wore a mask.  

That fact alone should’ve convinced everyone to suck it up and wear one. However, since some Americans decided to turn the science of face masks into political debate, we still haven’t been able stop the spread that has cost more than 238,000 lives.

The University of Iowa needs to do their part as well. Recently, the UI Libraries created a program to ensure that students are wearing their mask in the main library. This program includes launching campaigns through social media like Twitter and Facebook and placing photoshopped pictures throughout the library.

It’s sad and pathetic that students are still being stubborn to make a small sacrifice for the common good.

The UI is going to greater lengths to ensure the safety of others on campus by deciding to create a mask monitor job where a student gets paid for walking around the library and making sure everyone is wearing their mask.

We aren’t in kindergarten. We shouldn’t need incentives like Hawkeye swag in order to do the right thing. No one has the right to be complaining about wearing a mask when Iowa families are suffering from seeing their loved ones on a ventilator.

Is your stubbornness worth risking the life of someone else? Campus cases have been on the rise, and the Johnson County positivity rate has soared to 29.45 percent as of Nov. 11.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this spike is partly because of Halloween and Hawkeye football tailgating and watch parties. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not about refusing to live in fear or having the “I’ll survive if I get it” mentality.

It’s about how your choices have a direct effect on the community, and you could very well spread it to someone who cannot afford to get sick. Someone else shouldn’t be paying the consequences of your actions.

If you’re going to continue to be selfish and gather in large groups, you have to at the very least be decent enough to do the bare minimum.

It’s not that difficult to pull a piece of cloth over your face before you step outside, and you need to do it.

The time is now to do our part. I’m asking in the nicest way possible that if you are going out in public, please don’t be selfish, do your part, and wear a mask. 

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.