It has been eight months since our social lives took a big hit because of the pandemic. Yes, it has been a long time since we could confidently and safely go to a party. Yes, since people started moving back to Westwood, it has felt tempting to go to a party. But, think about someone else besides yourself. Since getting back to UCLA in September, I have been incredibly disappointed with my peers and their decisions to attend parties despite all of the warnings against doing so. While I am always down for a good party or get-together, there is a time and a place. During a pandemic is definitely not the time. I get it, you’re tired of being inside all the time. We all are! But, here’s the truth: COVID-19 is not getting tired and it will not go away just because you don’t want to keep cooperating with safer-at-home guidelines. If this hasn’t sold you, here are four more reasons why UCLA students should not be partying right now:
- Any of us could be carrying the virus whether we have symptoms or are completely asymptomatic.
Just because you feel fine does not mean you are 100% healthy. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, meaning that you are carrying the virus without experiencing any of the symptoms. This is especially prevalent in young adults. However, although we might not feel the effects of the virus, we are still highly contagious. Even the chance that you have the virus without any symptoms should be reason enough to skip the party, especially because other people attending the party could also have it.
- You’re putting immunocompromised people at risk.
Simply put, don’t be selfish. I am sorry that you can’t go out and meet new people, but we need to protect the people around us. Some of us might feel some mildly uncomfortable symptoms at first and get better soon, but other populations are at a higher risk. I’m talking about older people, people with chronic illnesses and individuals who cannot afford the extensive healthcare that the virus requires. Students that decide to be selfish and go to a party are increasing the risk for other people.
- Partying is a blatant form of disrespect for those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
According to the Kaiser Health News, over 900 frontline workers have died due to COVID-19, primarily nurses. Many of these deaths are due to the transmission of COVID-19 from the patient to the front line worker. Almost 1,000 people have died trying to save others from dying from this terrifying virus. By going out, partying and being unsafe, you are spreading the problem that doctors, nurses and caregivers are dying trying to solve.
- There are so many safe ways to have fun at UCLA.
It’s not like going to parties is the only way to stay entertained at UCLA. There are so many safer alternative ways to be social. Go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains or in Topanga with friends (and masks)! Have a socially-distanced picnic at Janss or watch the sunset with friends at the beach. Have movie nights with your roommates and rewatch all of the Friends series on HBO! The list goes on and on. There is no reason you just had to go to that party.
Simply put, think about other people. You might be fine if you get the virus, but the people you may infect before you even realize you have COVID-19 may not have the same privilege. People that are posting photos at parties right now do not look cool; they look ignorant and selfish. It is possible to still be social and hang out with your loved ones. Please, just be safe for the community around you.