By Andy Liu
Every day on the news, we see stories about “Karens” and anti-maskers in public places, blatantly disregarding the fact that there are mask mandates in effect. These anti-maskers make it extremely dangerous for everybody around them and themselves by choosing not to wear a mask in protest of a “violation of their constitutional rights.” This type of behavior is rash and irresponsible, as it causes potentially deadly harm to themselves. For example, the majority of the people who are in hospitals right now dying of COVID are those self-proclaimed “protesters.” Additionally, news media outlets continue to publish stories on these dying patients, humanizing them and giving them a heroic tale because of their background as firefighters or veterans.
Now, I’m not saying that we should demonize anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers, but I don’t think we should be portraying them as these people who deserve all of our empathy either. Yes, this is controversial, but anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers end up dying in the hospital for a reason: they didn’t follow health mandates when they should have. These people are all portrayed in the news as mothers, fathers, friends, or family members who wished they could have done something differently in their very last hours. Maybe they should have worn that mask when the cashier told them to. Perhaps they should have taken Dr. Fauci’s and all of the governments’ advice to get inoculated so the population could reach herd immunity against COVID-19. Maybe they should have stayed home instead of partying with other COVID-deniers.
Living in an individualistic society is not helping matters, either. Since we’re all so self-immersed, we don’t see what is necessary for society to progress as a whole. We only look at what we want to do. This can lead to potentially devastating results on the transmission rates of COVID-19 as numbers hit spikes once again in many areas across the globe. Some people suggest that the reason there are still COVID-deniers is that they have this belief that they have grandiose invulnerability to COVID. They don’t think they’ll ever catch it because their immune systems are ‘too strong to catch COVID.’ This, however, is a massive mistake because nobody is invulnerable (unless you’re Superman). Sadly, these people only realize their mistake when they’re lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a ventilator while their lungs rapidly deteriorate, failing to support their respiratory functions.
I think the best way to counteract this issue would be to inform those people who believe they are “invulnerable” against COVID-19 that they really aren’t. There are way too many things in this life that are worth living for, but sometimes, a person just has to step back and reassess their actions, particularly if it’s harming somebody else or themselves. If you know somebody who participates in dangerous activities such as going outside maskless, please inform them that they are harming not only themselves but society itself. By choosing to be a part of the problem, they contribute to the rising number of COVID cases worldwide. Choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.