June 23, 2020

LORENZEN | CTB Will Reopen Sooner If You Wear a Mask

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No, it won’t. That’s an absolutely preposterous statement. There is no causation between when Collegetown Bagels will reopen in its new Sheldon Court location and you wearing a mask. However, if you are among the growing, vocal minority of Americans steadfastly refusing to wear a mask despite the Center of Disease Control’s recommendation to do so in public spaces, then may I recommend you pretend that this false causation is true? If the tangible reward of Zabs motivates you to wear a mask when you go out in public, then I am here to tell you that CTB will reopen sooner if you wear a mask. If the effervescent memory of a fresh pizza bagel ravenously devoured as you stare through the window into a gentle Ithaca rain, the Friends theme song inexplicably playing in the background, makes you reach for that mask — then I swear to you, CTB will reopen sooner if you wear your mask. Cross my heart, it’ll happen. It’s true.

Around the country, thousands of red-blooded Americans are making the bold choice to endanger their own lives and those of others by not wearing a mask. When confronted by the proprietors of restaurants, stores and other establishments and asked to please don a mask, they patriotically respond with vigorous recitations of their right to well-earned ignorance, frequently sprinkling in a few expletives for good measure. To these individuals, wearing a mask is “submission, it’s muzzling yourself, it looks weak — especially for men.” I won’t critique this line of thinking because I am, of course, far too intimidated by these alphas who are too masculine for basic public health measures in the midst of a devastating pandemic unlike any seen for over a century. I mean, they could, like, totally own me as a weak, mask-wearing, muzzled man! After all, I have to tread cautiously in this column and not advocate too strongly for people wearing masks which would decrease the rate of transmission of coronavirus and thereby save lives. Saying that you should wear a mask because this exceedingly minor inconvenience will literally save lives is too hot a take for this column. It’s risky. They’re owning us libs left and right out there.

Now, I have the utmost confidence that all members of the Cornell community are following CDC guidance and acting responsibly, but nonetheless, polling indicates that 22 percent of individuals 18-29 still aren’t wearing masks. Therefore it seems prudent to reiterate: Please wear a mask for your health, and the health of others. Whether you’ve chosen not to do so because it’s a little annoying or because you are a member of the small number of people who view not wearing a mask as an act of American rugged individualism and overflowing masculinity, I’m begging you — wear a mask. If a tangible reward will help solve this collective action problem, then allow me to offer you an absolutely ludicrous promise with no basis in reality whatsoever, to appeal to that latter group which seems to enjoy an utter disavowal of reality: If you wear a mask, Collegetown Bagels will reopen sooner. I promise.

Do it for the pizza bagels, bro.

Andrew Lorenzen is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at alorenzen@cornellsun.com. When We’re Sixty Four runs every other Tuesday this summer.