While life on campus may be returning to normal with in-person classes, masks will still need to be worn.
On Aug. 12 it was announced that Ferris faculty, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will have to wear a mask when stepping into any building on campus.
I believe this was a good decision, and with the delta variant spreading I am sure many of us can understand why the university made this choice. However, there may be individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, who are upset about having to wear a mask for another year.
Even though I have been vaccinated, it will be an easy decision to wear a mask this year when I am attending class. I will be doing this alongside sanitizing my hands often, only seeing a small handful of friends in person and keeping my distance when in big crowds. I do this all for one simple reason: I do not want the delta variant of COVID-19.
If I were to contract any of these virus variants, I would have to be shut away in my room. I would have no in-person contact, my meals would be dropped off at my door and I would rack up an unhealthy amount of screen time. If this happened during the school year, I would have to miss out on the events that are finally being allowed to take place.
It’s not great to feel like we are going backwards. Going back to wearing masks, keeping track of who we come in contact with and making sure we are never too far from hand-sanitizer. But being worried about a virus spreading around feels much worse.
I would love to go back to my first year at Ferris: no masks, no excessive amounts of disinfectant spray and certainly not keeping six feet apart from each other. It would be fantastic to go back to that normal, but in order to move on to something that resembles that time we need to be smart.
Wearing masks right now is essential for us to get back to a life where we don’t need them. The only way we are going to move forward is if we adapt and do not fall back on the habits that caused this virus to spread so quickly in the first place.
I fully believe we can get to a new and even better normal if we all work together in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the new Delta variant on campus this year.