A Plea to Young Chicagoans From a Young Chicagoan

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I’m 18. I understand that’s young and that I don’t understand a lot of things. But I know that this is real. And I’m asking you to follow the rules, to wear a mask and gloves, as well as practice social distancing. Almost 3,000 people have died and over three million people are confirmed to have had coronavirus worldwide.

It’s true that young people aren’t the majority of the cases or the majority of the deaths, but young people are still dying (Washington Post.) And if that wasn’t enough, think about your grandparents or your friend’s grandparents, because old people are dying more. And whether or not you’re being safe and following the rules could make a difference. 

Deaths in Illinois were up by 112% between March and April (New York Times.) It’s not just about the people you know. The way that you act every single time that you go outside could add to that number. 

Today, my parents and I took muffins to my 23-year-old sister and for the fourth or fifth time, she came down from her apartment building, through an elevator, without her mask (which we had previously brought her.) I am throwing her under the bus as an example, although she does wear a mask to the grocery store. 

Our family is a pertinent example because my mom is immunosuppressed. But even if your mom isn’t, somebody else’s mom is. And if you are carrying the virus (even if you weren’t showing symptoms and you didn’t know about it), the likelihood of an immunosuppressed or elderly person getting the virus grows. 

You may be young, but you are not invincible. And if you choose not to care about your own life (because you’re just that full of FOMO), care about somebody else’s life.

Thank you. 

(Ana Gore, a Rogers Park resident and senior at Whitney Young High School, is a journalist for the RogersEdge Reporter.)

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