It was disappointing to see that SDSU had to stop in-person classes because of a surge in positive tests for COVID-19. The reason? Socializing in large groups without masks.
Yes, because they are younger, they think they are less likely to suffer severe effects of COVID-19, and they might feel somewhat invincible. But what they don’t realize is that little is yet known about the virus and its long-term effects on any age group. Cases of organ damage are starting to get reported.
However, we can’t point our fingers only at students. With all due respect to El Cajon mayor Bill Wells — who in a recent Union Tribune column explained why El Cajon police were not going to enforce pandemic rules and laws — wearing masks is not a political issue. Wells’ matter-of-fact comment that we should expect some deaths from any illness/epidemic as something that we should accept and be used to, really struck a nerve. I suspect that given his city administration’s policies, and his desire to make their position known, the message I got from his column is that it is probably not safe to shop or socialize in El Cajon.
I was at a supermarket earlier today and a gentleman walked in, not wearing his mask. One of the workers stocking in the produce section stopped him and asked him to please put a mask on. My wife took our son to the dentist yesterday and a young man came in without a mask. She told him to put one on.
Until there is a viable vaccine, wearing a mask is the responsible and sensible approach to bringing a calamitous situation under control. Being part of a high-risk group, I may be a little sensitive but yesterday during dinner when I was telling my wife about mayor Wells’ column, my teenage son interjected, “Is that guy a moron? Wearing a mask is not a political issue, it is a health issue.” Apparently my teenage son has more common sense than one — and probably more — of our community leaders. I have hope for our future generations.
Now that we can begin, once again, to go enjoy some of our favorite restaurants and other venues, please do so. Support our local businesses. Our communities depend on it. But please, do so safely. Your family, neighbors, businesses, etc. depend on that.
I apologize if I sound preachy but I really want to get past this mess as quickly and safely as possible. My younger brother came down with COVID-19 a few months ago. All of us siblings were on pins and needles for a couple of months. Fortunately, he seems to have gotten past it. So if anyone tells you that it’s fake news or a hoax, it’s not. If you’re feeling lucky, offer to sell that person a nice bridge in Brooklyn. They’ll believe anything and you could come out a few dollars ahead.
—Jose Reynoso is chair of the College Area Community Council.