Someone had to say it!
There was some intrigue, at first.
It was a fashion statement of sorts, with social media, companies and influencers alike glamorizing mask-wearing and herding followers in the right direction with the incentive of a new way to accessorize.
Now that we are all looking straight into the impending two-year anniversary of Covid-19, many are not only still sick, but also sick of wearing masks.
Having a piece of fabric concealing the bottom half of your face is not the most enjoyable thing. That's valid. I too am tired of tossing away disposables or peeling off a reusable mask to the sight of peachy foundation coating the inside.
Though, I–and any other reasonable and empathetic person–can understand that no matter how annoying mask-wearing has become, it is still our responsibility as members of a community to continue wearing masks.
As everyone (I hope) can comprehend by now, wearing a mask is a way to protect yourself and others from the continued transmission of COVID-19 and any other sickness surely floating around.
It is quite unsettling as a third-year student at the University of Florida–I started this pandemic as a 19-year-old, spring-chicken freshman and am currently a 21-year-old junior who is simply not having a good time–to walk into a lecture hall to the sight of at least half of the students in attendance brazenly unmasked.
The students I saw were seemingly unbothered by the sight of their fellow peers masked-up and attempting to armor themselves against catching coronavirus. Some are attempting to prevent passing it to whoever else, had they unwittingly attended class while being positive for the virus.
You could try to blame it on confusion–maybe you were double-vaxxed and even boosted, so you think you’re invincible. There was that post on President Joe Biden’s Instagram waiving mask regulations; but that was in May, pre-spread of the Omicron and Delta variants. You should know better by now.
Most people are suffering from pandemic fatigue: you're not special. So, if you aren’t already, go get vaccinated and stock up on your supply of masks.
Maybe going without a mask isn’t considered taboo on a college campus, but I’m here to tell you–it really should be. And next time you walk into class unmasked, just know me and (I assume) every other person wearing a mask is judging you.
Jillian Rodriguez is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. You can find her sitting in her bedroom under a mirrorball listening to Taylor Swift, sipping iced coffee and contemplating which seemingly mundane moments of life to add to her many drafts; maybe you’ll show up in her writing one day. You can reach her at @jillygabrielle on Instagram for more info.