OPINION: COVID-19 is rising again – people need to start following guidelines!

On July 17, 2020, 75,821 people tested positive for Covid-19,  the highest number ever seen as of July 21, according to Google who monitors multiple data sources. There is no current U.S. nationwide mandate that requires wearing masks, unlike many other countries.

Yet as cases of COVID-19 are rising, public places are also starting to open up more. On July 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 32 states are seeing a spike in cases, and all of those states were opening up quickly. 

I strongly believe that people should start to obey the guidelines and wear masks to weaken the pandemic. They are putting themselves and others’ lives in danger by refusing to wear masks and social distance.

Nick Gooding, a 9th grader going to Mount Hebron High School, said, “I’ve been outside and I see people aren’t wearing masks and nobody is taking action. It’s just getting worse day by day.” 

I agree with Gooding, because the more people wear masks, the faster things go back to normal. Gooding added, “Many businesses don’t care about who gets sick or not, it’s all about the money for them.”

While some businesses might not care, others have tried to enforce mask rules, only to have angry customers yelling and refusing to comply. 

Harsh Patel, an 11th grader at Mount Hebron High School, said, “I feel like people underestimated COVID-19 [at first], and they still are.” 

That is definitely true, as people like President Donald Trump ignored warnings and advisories from scientists beginning in January. According to health officials, Trump didn’t think that COVID was a big deal at first.

 

While the United States is seeing COVID-19 numbers go up, other countries have made good progress. In fact, on June 8th, according to BBC, New Zealand announced that it is officially COVID free, and it only had 1500 cases and 22 deaths

New Zealand applied very strict restrictions that made it COVID free, unlike the USA where we are going the opposite direction in case numbers and the restrictions are very light. 

Dr. Howard Bachner, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the American Medical Association, believes that the US could get the pandemic under control within two months if every American wears a mask. 

Unfortunately, the chance of everyone wearing a mask is almost impossible. Unlike other developed countries, the USA is one of the few countries where people are not following guidelines, and the public is protesting amid COVID 19. In my opinion, it is because the US government and many other state governments are not being strict enough.

Salma Yasmin,a Howard County resident, also believes that many states are reopening too fast and they are not taking care of their own people. I agree with her that there should be mandatory social distancing and mask rules, and there should be consequences for those people who do not comply. For example, a $100 fine would be reasonable. 

We still do not know when COVID-19 will ease down or end, but one thing everyone can do in the meantime is simply put on your mask in public and practice social distancing. 

We can do a way better job! I strongly believe that if we can all do our part, then COVID 19 will be greatly reduced. If you would like more information about COVID-19 and ways to prevent its spread, visit the official government website at cdc.gov.

In Pennsylvania, people protested to reopen their state and go back to normal amid COVID-19. Refusing to wear masks and keep social distance is inappropriate and it can increase the spread of the virus.