I remember when we first learned about the COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t think it was real or could do any damage. I scoffed at the idea of wearing masks and thought it would all blow over within a week. I was wrong.

Before I knew it, school closed indefinitely, the economy crashed, people were unemployed, and lives were lost. Now, almost seven months later, I’m taking the time to reflect over COVID-19 and its consequences.

Knowing what I do now, I would’ve worn a mask every day to prevent the number of lives that were lost not only to COVID-19 but also to depression. I would’ve worn a mask to stop track season and other extracurriculars from being cancelled. I would’ve worn a mask to stay connected with my church, neighbors, classmates, and grandparents. Obviously, the “would’ves” could go on forever.

However, I can’t turn back the clock, and I can’t get that time back. Therefore, I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid another catastrophe. I’m going to wear a mask because I can’t afford everything to be shut down again.

We all have our own decisions to make and our own rights to defend; however, everyone also has a reason to stay connected with the people and careers that give us a true feeling of living.

I’m wearing my mask to protect our way of life. Is our reason for not wearing masks more important than that?

I know it’s a struggle to convince little kids to wear masks and that it’s a pain to have masks on our faces every day, but we all can make the effort. There’s no imperative reason we can’t put up with a little discomfort if that’s what it takes to continue thriving in our communities.

It saddens me that a majority of us go about our days without masks, daring COVID-19 to strike. While all cases aren’t severe, COVID-19 is knocking at our doors. It’s here. I don’t really know if I’m scared so much of this virus, as I am of losing my everyday life again. Selfishly, I’m asking everyone to wear a mask because I can’t bear to lose everything twice.

The debate on mandating masks continues all around us, but my mind is made up. I don’t think masks should be mandated because we all should value our way of life to a point where we can handle a little annoyance in order to protect it.

In other news

“Land of the free.” “Pursuit of happiness.” “Equal opportunity.” For so long, the United States has boasted these ideals above all else. Basically becoming America’s selling strategy, newcomers are told they will have every opportunity offered to them here, and fairly.

Back in 2013, a movement was born after an African American teen by the name of Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, as #BlackLivesMatter was being used around on social media to promote it. During the pandemic, BLM and its importance was stressed and brought back into the realm of social med…

The fundamental tenet of the Black Lives Matter movement, which stands for racial justice and equality, is honorable, just and desperately necessary. And yet, the political controversy associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and counter-protest movements prevents unified racial progress.