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Every time that I leave my apartment I wear a mask. If the weather is too good to resist and I’m all alone I’ll take it off. But, the second that I see another person I slap it right back on. Otherwise, if I’m outside the comfort of my own home my mask is on. Plain and simple. I can’t say the same for other people that I come across. I’m an RA and I can’t begin to count how many people I see in the hallways without a mask. When I ask them to put one on they tell me that it’s far away locked inside of their rooms.

“Alright.” I’ll say. “Go and grab it.”

“Seriously?” They’ll say as if I’m asking them to do something ridiculous.

“Seriously.” I’ll reply and watch them stomp back to their apartment. Returning with a mask and sliding it on with attitude. And I’ll smile at them. Not because I want to come across as rude. That’s not the place where I’m coming from. But because I’m really trying to help myself and others stay safe from a potentially life-threatening virus. If you don’t wear a mask in public you are selfish and I want you to know it. You think that a few seconds of discomfort are worse than the health and safety of others around you. You think that the virus isn’t real. Or that if you get the virus you’ll be a little bit sick. But what about those around you

What about the woman who lives next door to you who has OCD and is deathly afraid whenever you walk by because you refuse to wear a mask? What about your roommate’s Grandfather who is at risk of dying because of the virus? The kid across the hall who has bad lungs and prays that they don’t get the virus because their lung capacity can’t take the hit? The maintenance worker who cleans the halls and literally can’t afford to miss a day of work much less two weeks? What about literally anyone who is doing their best to avoid COVID-19 but can’t because people like you think it’s okay not to take the pandemic seriously?

But that’s the thing. You can’t say that you care about people and then make decisions that put their health at risk. You can’t proclaim to care about others while actively choosing to make decisions that negatively impact other people.

If someone asks you to wear a mask it’s because you are making them uncomfortable because of your actions. You might not be wearing a mask because it makes you uncomfortable. But I assure you that the coronavirus is far worse. So on behalf of everyone else in the world let me just say.

Don’t be a jerk. Just wear a mask.

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Destiny is currently enrolled in Columbia University's MFA Writing program. She is a national writer at Her Campus and the former editor-in-chief of Her Campus Rowan. She likes thrifting, romance novels, cooking shows, and can often be found binging documentaries.
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