Masking the real issues

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

When did a pandemic become politicized? I have been asking myself that a lot recently as the news constantly reports on protests against masks and the abuse that other people have been subjected to after asking their fellow community members to be considerate. The lack of respect and abundance of hate that fills people continues to baffle me.

Masks are not the killers and they are not evil. They are necessary in order to stop other people from getting sick and in severe cases, dying.

I worked throughout the pandemic at a business deemed essential. I saw the anti-maskers first hand. I watched in awe as they said the government is lying to us and we are being forced to wear masks just so they can control us.

Of course, as they told me this, they decided to stand away from the plexiglass that protected me and cough in my direction. All I could do was clench my teeth, bite my tongue and wish them a wonderful day as they walked out of the store.

These people might not have experienced COVID-19 firsthand or had a loved one die while only a nurse held their hand because the hospital banned family visits. This doesn’t mean the virus isn’t spreading. It just means they are the lucky ones. Masks are not a cure for COVID-19 — they do not have the ability to fully halt the virus from entering one’s system, but they are helping.

Anti-maskers have made this virus about themselves without consideration for their fellow Americans. I have come to realize that a lot of anti-maskers also hold pro-life viewpoints which unfortunately makes me chuckle a bit. Those currently preaching that their rights are being infringed upon because the government is telling them what they can and cannot do with their bodies are the same people who preach that women should not have the ability to choose what happens to their bodies.

I am so tired of seeing people without masks in public spaces who are not even trying to social distance. Grow up and put a mask on or stay home.