Since March of 2020, the United States has been in a panic. All summer and now into the new year, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over lives and forced Americans to become more concerned with their health and contact with others. However, as the months passed, many people became impatient in their isolation. Americans longed to get back to their old lifestyle of getting together with friends and going out to public places. Several incidents soon came out in the news about how celebrities and athletes had thrown large parties, many of whom ended up catching the coronavirus. All of us hear about these events and shake our heads, but many fail to realize how there is a lot more of this going on than we realize. Not only is attending parties during a pandemic dangerous for one’s own health, but it also puts everyone else there in jeopardy as well.

“I did attend a few gatherings with families and friends over the summer,” senior Tristen Wedlock said.

Most students at Steinbrenner have likely seen a group of friends outside of school, now that many places have begun to open back up. However, that does not mean everybody is comfortable and okay to resume these activities again.

“It still probably isn’t okay to attend a big party because it’s a pandemic, but I think I was okay because it was mostly with family,” Wedlock said.

Just because people don’t agree with larger gatherings yet doesn’t mean it is not happening. Partygoers seem to not care about their well-being and the health of others. There are not many reasons why it would be logical to be around other people in a pandemic, but it does not stop them.

“I think that anybody who did party just wanted to get rid of some energy, it got depressing in the house all the time,” Wedlock said.

Whatever the motive may be, attending a large gathering outside of family reasons is still irresponsible. CDC guidelines state that any groups of people not related, less than six feet apart, and especially without masks makes it a credible threat to everybody’s health.

“I know that wearing masks makes it safer for everyone, and distancing helps to stop the spread for sure,” Wedlock said.

While masks do help to stop the spread of COVID-19, the only way for someone to ensure they won’t be affected is to stay away from these parties. It will be difficult to not go and see everyone, but health is the highest priority in a pandemic.

“I think it is ok as long as it’s family or close friends and you’re making sure that everyone is safe, but bigger parties aren’t safe yet,” Wedlock said.

However long the pandemic lasts, partying shouldn’t be permitted. There are other ways to have fun that don’t involve being crowded together without masks, and health is as bigger a responsibility than ever before. Protecting oneself and others are the largest obligations that citizens have during this time, so people need to be doing their part by not attending large gatherings. If citizens can do this, they will get through this both quickly and safely.

Kyle Messina // Staff Writer

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