The Cost of Freedom

Sarah Aguilar, Staff Writer

It is no exaggeration to say that ignorance is killing us. 

More than 250,000 are dead because of the COVID epidemic, on certain days more than 2000 people have been dying from the disease, and unemployment has put many workers in a terrible position. And the defense for letting the disease go unchecked? American citizens couldn’t be deprived of their freedom. This being the land of freedom. . .

Many Americans took to the streets and protested–not to object to the problems plaguing the country but to open it back up for business as usual. They wanted to open restaurants, salons, theme parks–after all, people have the right to brighten up their lives, don’t they? They do not need government mandated regulations; they should not have to wear a mask to protect others. They are being deprived of their rights before their very eyes. How could Americans be told no? Put another way, how could Americans ever care about others’ safety?

Hospitals around the country are overrun with patients. Doctors, nurses, and EMTs have been perishing on the front lines. Children have lost their parents to a virus that they cannot understand. People have died in the hallways of overcrowded hospitals. Meanwhile, young people have thrown large parties, and people wear their masks below their noses because they are uncomfortable.

This mentality is not new to America, the notion that people should only be concerned for themselves and that everyone else is merely another obstacle to overcome. Countries such as Japan have long since introduced masks into daily life–in consideration of others and in hopes that they will not contract the same illness. And while Americans tend to pride themselves on their extensive patriotism and go to war for their country and even bleed for it, somehow they haven’t viewed the battle with COVID the same way.

The country needs you to be kind, to be considerate, to think of others. Wear a mask, keep your distance, and do not gather groups of people. But that is the one thing that America seems incapable of doing right now.