Pro-Mask: Proceeding With Caution



Students should continue wearing masks for the sake of immunocompromised peers and their family members, and because the pandemic is not over.


Why do we still wear masks today? After all, most people we know have been vaccinated, so why be so cautious? 

Unfortunately, there are still those people who refuse to be vaccinated and who could transmit COVID-19 to us in just a simple sneeze, cough or touch. COVID-19 is airborne, and despite vaccination efforts, it is still a dangerous virus that has no mercy on the most vulnerable members of our community.

Epidemiologists warn us that although this virus is in its third year, we should not let our guard down yet. It’s too early to lift all pandemic precautions, and we can’t be sure what the future holds. Don’t expect omicron to be the last variant we have to contend with.

The world has begun to think that COVID-19 is going away, but that is not the case.

Removing masks right now is like pulling the Band-Aid off before the wound is healed. Yes, I fully understand that we cannot go on for the rest of our lives wearing masks. After two years of masking, I am exhausted by it. 

But I need something to help me make sure that I do not get sick. I am immunocompromised. I have hypothyroidism, heart issues and high blood pressure. Yes, I take daily meds, and I do feel healthy, thank God. But feeling healthy and remaining healthy is the key here. At 64 years old (65 next month), I am not willing to risk my health. 

I know that it is not fun to wear these things on our faces. I want to go out with my makeup on — my red, rosy lipstick — and to feel sexy. Heck, I may be in my 60s, but yes, I think that when I am all dressed up in my pretty dresses and heels that I do feel and look good. Putting on a mask can put a damper on dressing up, but it doesn’t have to take away from a special occasion. 

Take my son’s Nov. 5 wedding, for example. Some of my son and daughter-in-law’s guests took them off for the evening, and we respected that. Yet I did wear mine — gown, hair and all — and I still had a great time. 

We are seeing a wave of milder infections. Other countries are dialing back restrictions and not pushing the point of mask mandates, and social distancing. The world has begun to think that COVID-19 is going away, but that is not the case.

This is where tearing that Band-Aid off too soon comes in. The crisis is still here; just because things have quieted down does not make it safe to go out without a mask. 

Are we settling for complacency that will come back to hurt us in the end?

Ever take a bandage off too soon? You think by the new scab it’s all healed, and then a few days later, it hurts like hell. Well, this is where we are heading if we become too complacent. 

I do want to breathe air freely and feel great in a killer outfit without a mask. I want my face to not feel dry and my eyes not to itch due to the mask and my own breath drying my face out. Then again, that is why I carry lotion and lip balm with me. 

I ask: Are we settling for complacency that will come back to hurt us in the end? I fear we may be, but according to New York state and Fordham’s recent decisions to lift mask mandates, it’s up to you to answer that.