The Pandemic isn’t Over Yet

The+Pandemic+isn%27t+Over+Yet

Written by: Alyssa Tyler, Editor-in-Chief

America got its first case of COVID-19 on Jan. 20. Since then, 270,000 Americans have died from the disease. If Americans want ‘normal’ to come back, we need to accept the fact that masks do work, the government does have the right to create mask mandates and scientists are right.

Since the pandemic started in March, countless conspiracy theories have started to spread, trying to downplay the true impact of the virus. The most popular of them being, masks don’t work. This theory was created when the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) both claimed that masks were not necessary. Then by the time lockdowns were being lifted, they encouraged people to start wearing masks. Later, both groups came out saying that they did not encourage masks at the beginning of the pandemic so there would be enough for front line workers. But by the time lockdowns were being lifted, there were enough to go around for the entire population. Around this time as well, professionals were beginning to realize that people who are asymptomatic, can still spread the virus, as well as people who are pre-symptomatic. 

The back and forth reasoning for not wearing masks or not caused many people to start thinking that masks don’t work against spreading the disease. Although there are countless studies on why masks do truly work. In a study done by the University of California San Francisco, they found that hundreds of respiratory droplets were spread by just talking, and a mask was able to stop nearly all of the droplets from spreading past the mask. In Washington D.C., when a mandatory mask mandate was put in place, the COVID-19 rates went down by two percentage points in three weeks. 

In today’s world, it is extremely easy to spread conspiracy theories and misinformation with just one click. And although countless sites are trying to take down new sources that are not factually correct, thousands of people can read something that is not true before they can take it down. This has caused people to start believing in conspiracy theories instead of health officials when it comes to infectious viruses. Facebook is not a reliable source, someone’s friend, who reposted a link to a random website, is not a doctor. Someone would not seek medical advice from their neighbor who works at a law firm. This pandemic is no different, just because the medical professionals are not saying what we want to hear, doesn’t make them not right. 

But, with mask mandates going into place, many people are arguing that they are unconstitutional and a restriction on their rights. This is not the first time America has had issues with the idea of freedom of personal choice, and the overall health and safety of the community. In 1905, the court case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts was over the requirement of a smallpox vaccine. A Supreme Court decision ruled that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state. This court case shows that the government does have the right to enforce mask mandates even if it does go against the personal liberties of someone. Mask mandates also did not make their first appearance in 2020. In 1918-1919, America put another mask mandate for Spanish influenza. During this time, if people did not follow health official and government mandates they could risk fines and go to what was called the ‘influenza courts’

 

Overall, masks work, science is real and not everything is a conspiracy theory. Nearly everyone is ready for the world to be back to normal. But, we cannot do that until this pandemic is taken control of. If people continue to push conspiracy theories, refuse to follow mandates and lastly don’t believe scientists and medical professionals, it will take even longer to get back to normal.