You shouldn’t need to be forced to wear a mask


No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. This is one example of the many rules that we have all abided by for the past century. It’s common sense that in order to be accepted in public locations, there are certain rules that can’t be avoided. If you can understand that clothes are necessary to go to the grocery store, then why is it so hard to obey the rule that says masks are required in public places? 

As members of a society, we benefit from that society, whether it be going to school, having our roads plowed, or borrowing flour from a neighbor. This means that, as members of society, we have obligations: following the law, paying taxes, or even just respecting people’s space. 

Even if it’s not required or enforced, it’s our obligation to not put other members of society in danger, specifically by spreading a deadly virus. The police aren’t going to come to your house and force you to social distance and wear masks with the friends you’re hanging out with. But you shouldn’t need to be forced to have basic human decency, stay home, wear a mask, and keep your distance from everyone. 

This pandemic affects everyone, not just those within your small bubble. At Meijer or Walmart, there are still people walking around carelessly with no mask on. When a worker asks them politely to put on a mask, they simply don’t acknowledge it or just take the mask right back off afterwards. Many people don’t realize that wearing a mask is not just for your safety, it’s for everyone’s safety. There is a world outside the small bubble that you reside in, and many people fail to see that. This is a problem. 

Masks are not being enforced in the same way that most laws are enforced. In fact, masks should not even have to be enforced, it should just be common sense. But many laws are common sense, and enforcing them just adds an extra precaution so they are followed. It needs to be engraved in people’s brains that while wearing a mask may not seem important to you (although it should be), it’s important to respect the people around you and wear a mask.

Wearing a mask is not a rule that should have to be so drastically enforced. It should be common law by now that if you’re around people you have to stay 6-12 feet apart as best you can and you wear a mask. We’re trying to end the pandemic, not go for Round 2.

It’s hypocritical to complain that the pandemic hasn’t lessened in severity while simultaneously putting minimal effort towards fighting it. We must work harder by doing more than the bare minimum. It’s an even responsibility for everybody, which means that utmost precautions need to be taken. When gathering with others, whether in our homes or in public, we should wear a mask at the very least — which is barely an unreasonable favor, seeing as its best to abstain from seeing other people anyway. 

Yes, there may be circumstances where we absolutely have to meet somebody or do something in person, but that does not mean the pandemic is over. The lifting of certain restrictions is not reflective on the state of the virus: restaurants may be open, as opposed to a total shutdown early on in the quarantine period, but total cases are on their greatest rise yet. 

We shouldn’t be looking for ways to get around the rules, we should be making a personal effort to do everything possible to prevent the spread of this virus, and only going into public when it’s necessary.