EDITORIAL: You’re putting others’ lives, health at risk — stop being selfish

(File photo by Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

It’s time we recognize that responsibility is not limited to just university administration. Kansas State students have to spend more time thinking about the implications of their actions during this public health crisis. Going to parties, bars or other gatherings can harm more people than you might realize.

It’s not just that your bad decisions could leave you with a hangover or regret, it’s that now your bad decisions could kill someone. Someone you love. Someone you care about. Think about that next time you’re headed to a party — think about how your choices will affect the lives of other students and the Manhattan community. You don’t live in a bubble.

Manhattan is a community of children, parents, grandparents and more. When you’re not here, thousands of people work to keep the community you love alive. They live here full-time, you do not. Manhattan is not just here for you to party. It’s a place to live and grow. By going out, you risk spreading COVID-19 in the community. You risk the lives of Manhattan residents.

And this isn’t just limited to Manhattan — when you visit your own families and friends outside of Manhattan, you could bring COVID-19 with you.

You risk the lives of everyone you meet for what? One night of fun? That’s extremely selfish.

Since classes began, the COVID-19 new case count in Riley County has skyrocketed. Of the more than 300 cases added since Aug. 17, the vast majority have been people aged 18 to 24.

Yes, K-State did not put you in a good position by encouraging you to return to campus and offering you limited guidance. However, you have the choice to participate in or ignore prevention efforts. Too many students have decided they are not going to help.

This entire situation sucks, but pretending it does not exist will likely only prolong the pandemic. The K-State community prides itself on being a family. Recently, we haven’t been acting like one. Sure, family members have their differences, but families look out for one another, they make choices to benefit the whole, not the individual.

Maybe COVID-19 won’t have a huge impact on you. Maybe you won’t have any symptoms at all. There’s still a chance that the people around you will and there’s still a chance you’ll carry the impacts of the illness on your body for the rest of your life.

Do not gamble with the lives of the people around you.

If a few students can make the right choice — and there are people who have been — we can all make the right choice. We know what we need to do to make this work — but it will require all of us to put in the effort.

Think of more than just yourself and consider the harm your actions can have on others. Wear a mask, social distance, stop going to parties and stop being so goddamn selfish.

The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the Collegian editorial board. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.