I don’t understand you

It happens daily. Twice daily. Sometimes even three times a day. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. They’re always there—maskless students.

When quarantine began last March, don’t get me wrong, it was pretty tricky to remember to wear my mask. I would hop out of my car to grab something from the store and SHIT! I forgot my mask! I totally get it. It happens! It was hard to remember to bring a mask—last March.

It has almost been an entire year since we were sent home. An entire year of mask-wearing and Covid-fretting and poorly adapting to a new normal except some of us– it seems– just didn’t get the memo.

As an RA, I have made every effort to remind my residents to stay safe and adhere to Luther’s COVID-19 guidelines. Behind the recycling on my floor, I drew a little graphic of how to wear a mask. I’ve sent countless emails to residents of my floor and I’ve given countless reminders to individuals without their masks on in towers. Luther College has sent numerous emails to the student body about safety, the administration put up posters, and I feel like we talk about masks at least once in every class I take– virtual or otherwise.

I suppose it doesn’t matter what I do, or what anybody does, because there YOU are, doing exactly what everybody else isn’t. There you are, walking to the bathroom without a mask. Standing in the hallway without a mask. Walking to and from the athletic center without a mask.
You don’t get it, do you?

Do you?

I have a hard time understanding why anybody would willingly risk others’ lives, especially at a college like ours. Critics of mask-wearing and social distancing will state that COVID-19 doesn’t egregiously affect people in “our age group,” and yet that’s not really what it’s about. Our community is made up of more than just the young and the fit. We have people of all ages around us! Our professors, Luther staff, those lovely folks who walk their dog in the evening, they are all a part of our lives. So many precious lives surround us. How could you jeopardize them? At Luther, we value our community, care for the widow and the orphan in our midst, and cherish the world around us. Don’t we? Sometimes we sure don’t act like it.

My goal isn’t to shame my fellow students into wearing masks. I don’t want to debate whether or not we need to be wearing them either. The evidence is clear and that conversation has grown old. You know what you should be doing. I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can do if you don’t already get it.

I don’t understand you.

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chips or organizations with which the author(s) are associated.