Homecoming may be fake, but the risk is real

Naia Willemsen, Editor-in-chief

2,638. As of November 16th, that’s the total number of people who have died of Covid-19 in Washington state. To put that into perspective, Liberty has about 1,400 students. 

While some may argue that “the worst is behind us” and we are “turning the corner” on the pandemic—not to mention those who argue it’s blown out of proportion—the fact is that Covid-19 is a real threat. And if you’re not taking it seriously, you’re putting the health and safety of everyone you come into contact with in jeopardy. That means your parents who might have underlying health conditions, your sibling who has asthma, the clerk at the store who works day in and day out in the midst of a pandemic to feed his or her family—everyone.

And there’s no way of denying it: that’s just selfish.

To the students who are gathering in groups to attempt a normal homecoming, who dress up to take photos hugging their friends and post “happy foco!!” on Instagram—you need to consider that a pandemic and the health of others is more important than a pretty picture.

Homecoming comes every year, and yes, I understand it’s an event we all look forward to. But a pandemic? One that forces us into quarantine for the better part of six months and kills approximately a quarter of a million people in the United State alone? That’s more important than looking good in your homecoming outfit.    

King County is currently in phase 2 of Covid-19 reopening (although new, stricter restrictions were imposed November 15). That means you can “gather with no more than five people outside your household per week*, ” and new restrictions say these gatherings must be outdoors. If you’re gathering in a group of 10 or 20 of your “closest” friends (who all live in different households and have different levels of exposure) to take photos with a callous disregard for social distancing and no masks in sight, you have no excuse. 

You may think I’m calling you out, and you’re right, I am. You may ask, what’s the harm in hanging out with just a few people? But therein lies the problem: it’s never just a few people. When you come into close contact with someone, you’re essentially coming into contact with everyone that person has been around in the past few weeks. Unless your friends and their entire families are sheltering in their house with no contact with anyone and you’re doing the same, there is a risk. And with each additional person, that risk increases exponentially. 

I know we are all craving a sense of normalcy during these times. But to act like nothing’s wrong and turn a blind eye to the very obvious pandemic that is happening is selfish and irresponsible. If you’re so desperate for a homecoming dance, have one with your siblings! Or pick two friends, stay distanced, and don’t see anyone else for a week. 

Think before you act because while you may be fine if you get sick, not everyone else will be.

 

*Source: https://www.kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/covid-response/current-guidance.aspx