Disclaimer: This is an edited version of an email sent to DePaul administration last week by the writer
To The Editor,
The administration’s decision to reinstate the University mask mandate is completely unnecessary and not based in science. I am fully vaccinated. Everyone I know is fully vaccinated. We are a population with extremely high vaccination rates and will soon be close to 100 percent due to the vaccine requirement. This is not a community where Covid-19 spread is extraordinarily likely, nor is it one where the population is at a significant risk of illness (the overwhelming majority of students never were).
Here are some statistics; In Illinois, the percent of vaccinated individuals who have been hospitalized is under .01 percent and some of those hospitalizations were not even for Covid-19. The Covid-19 death rate in Illinois for vaccinated individuals is a statistical 0.00 percent. The CDC has even admitted that these “breakthrough cases” are exceedingly rare.
You cannot look at these figures and tell people that this disease is still a threat to vaccinated individuals. Spread of a disease does not matter if there are not serious cases, and this spread itself is extremely rare. This is why we don’t annually lock down for the flu or common cold.
I understand that the justification will be that you are simply following local and federal guidance. In response, I would like to say that the local and federal organizations responsible for issuing this guidance have shed every bit of credibility they once had throughout this pandemic. Their decisions have not been based in science, but rather in politics. This pandemic has become far too partisan, and this is what is occurring now with the new guidance.
Furthermore, everybody has had the chance to receive their vaccination. Vaccine supply has greatly outpaced demand since as early as April. Those who have chosen to not receive protection from the virus have accepted that risk. That is a decision they have made about their own health. They don’t need the government, or their university, to decide what is best for them. At a certain point, people need to be allowed to make decisions for themselves, even if you believe that to be the wrong decision.
Lift this mandate. There is no reason to continue to go through this charade of precaution when there are no longer large risks associated with returning to in-person courses. We already have had a year and a half of our schooling stolen from us. Stop playing games and let us return to normal.
Dace Potas: A Fed-Up Student