Louisiana mask mandate saves lives

You’re running late to your 8 a.m. communications class that starts in five minutes.  You race to get ready and make your way to Walker Hall.  

Three minutes left, so you start to jog a little bit. Seconds from entering the building, you remember — You left your mask in your car.

This is the reality that most of us lived through last year.  And now, the reality we will have to live through again because of the new reinstated mask mandate. 

And while it may be annoying, it’s the best decision for everybody.

The first Louisiana mask mandate was announced in July 2020 and continued until April 2021. 

Over the summer, regulations were lessened because of the vaccine roll out. 

This allowed many of us to begin a return to life without masks. 

Even so, ULM decided to keep their mask mandate throughtout the summer to avoid anymore outbreaks.

But the entrance of the new Delta variant has raised concerns because it’s more transmissible, according to the CDC. 

Whereas the original strain of COVID may only infect three other people when correct precautions are not taken, this new variant may infect seven.

And those who aren’t vaccinated are the biggest concern. 

As of Aug. 14, 38% of the Louisiana population has been fully vaccinated. 

But according to the Louisiana Department of Health, unvaccinated people account for 90% of COVID cases in the state.

On Aug. 2, governor John Bel Edwards announced that the mask mandate would be reinstated. 

This was the best decision that could have been made because it puts people’s safety first. 

And with this decision we are avoiding many COVID hospitalizations and deaths.  

We already have enough as it is. Hospitals are beginning to be overrun once again with COVID patients.  

As of August 11, Louisiana has a total of 2,901 hospitalizations and 54 new deaths, according to WWL-TV.

Even though the Delta variant is more transmissible, masks are still proven to work and fight against the spread. 

We want to avoid falling back into the way things were in the past year. 

We should all be willing to do whatever it takes to keep from a nationwide quarantine again.

The current mandate will only last until Sept. 1, but can be extended if need be.

With vaccine numbers on the rise, there is hope that the mask mandates won’t last too much longer. 

And maybe then we can begin to make the transition to the post pandemic life that we had a small taste of this summer.

As ULM students, we have an obligation to do our part and help our campus: mask up and save lives.