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PSA: Don't Think You're Invincible and Wear Your Mask

"COVID-19, a pandemic that knows no bounds, has no cure and continues to disproportionately impact communities of color and low socioeconomic status, has yet to slow its spread.'"


By Eryn L. Pollard


COVID-19, a pandemic that knows no bounds, has no cure and continues to disproportionately impact communities of color and low socioeconomic status, has yet to slow its spread. With the American unemployment rate at 13.3%, it is imperative that businesses reopen to stimulate both the national and global economy.[1] However, State’s reopening plans have come at a cost and it is up to you to decide whether it has been worth the risk. Even now, States such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona have seen spikes in the number of cases just this week.[2] [3]


Traditionally affecting the elderly at higher rates, COVID-19 was initially thought to be a virus that youths were unlikely to contract unless they had a pre-existing medical condition, especially ones related to the respiratory system. Now, that has changed. With recent “stay at home order protests”, like those seen in Austin, Texas[4] where protestors refused to abide by recommended COVID-19 guidelines and a refusal by many Americans to wear their masks[5], COVID-19 has continued to spread and has found a new target: citizens ages 20-30. The Millennials, Generations Y and Z, have culturally been positively labeled as the generation that is not afraid to “go against the grain”, set new standards, and be entrepreneurs, while also balancing negative labels such as “fame-hungry”, impatient, and entitled.


But overall, I think we see ourselves as citizens who are social-impact minded, conscious-forward, and not afraid to speak up for what is right and just. We are the face of the new generation, yet we are plagued by so many poor decisions of our forefathers: institutions that thrive off of systemic racism and the hyper-criminalization of communities of color[6], lack of environmental justice and sustainability[7], and an education system that was built to empower private parties and teach century-old fallacies of what “Makes America great”.[8]


“...wash your hands, wear a mask, and quarantine yourself, if necessary."

But despite our self-proclaimed yearn to be the trailblazers of the generation, Generation Y and Z’s invincibility complex is undermined as we now, at increasing rates are more exposed to and susceptible to contracting COVID-19.[9] With the recent spikes in cases, States have begun to slow their re-opening plans. Interestingly enough, states such as Texas (TX), despite various citizens both young and old protesting against stay at home orders in May are scaling back their re-opening efforts. TX Governor Greg Abbot has given a public statement indicating that TX will temporarily “pause” future reopening of its economy as TX is now facing a “massive outbreak” of COVID-19.[10] Texas is not the only state that is rethinking its re-opening plans as North Carolina, Louisiana, and Oregon has also paused their reopening.[11]


As members of the entertainment community, it is imperative that we stay abreast of the news and data surrounding COVID-19. We need