Wear your mask- even when no one else is

Fans+were+all+given+a+KN95+mask+at+the+entrance+of+the+venue+to+wear+throughout+the+game.+How+many+can+you+spot+wearing+one%3F+Courtesy+of%3A+Penn+Live+

Fans were all given a KN95 mask at the entrance of the venue to wear throughout the game. How many can you spot wearing one? Courtesy of: Penn Live

Clarissa Arceo, Community Editor

Now is the time to keep your mask on more than ever. Why? The Superbowl LVI was in Los Angeles this year.

California just recently began allowing public spaces throughout the state to ease up on requiring masks for entry.

LA County, specifically, was hesitant on hopping onto the trend and is said to be making their decision sometime next week as Governor Gavin Newsom’s mask mandate expires Feb. 15.

Controversy sparked among fans and Los Angeles residents when the NFL announced its Superbowl LVI game to take place at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Many wondered whether this decision would destroy all the progress made in recent statistics indicating a decline in COVID-19 cases or if it would encourage the County to ease up on mask requirements.

Still, visitors from all over flew out in preparation for the big day, pre-ordering bundles from Porto’s and Domino’s, making daily trips to the grocery store for snacks, and having lunch at all the local hotspots.

The LA County Supervisor went as far as to push officials to relax mask mandates during the SuperBowl game after a photo of the Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, with the Magic Johnson went viral.

Both, Mayor Garcetti and Johnson, were posed at the Rams vs. 49ers Championship game without a mask.

Even if vaccination cards or a negative COVID-19 test were required for entry at the venue, the chances of contracting the virus when everyone was so close to each other for a long period of time- without a mask- is still very probable.

The vaccine may decrease your chances of being hospitalized if you contract COVID-19 but a mask will help decrease your chances of contracting the virus period. Not wearing a mask defeats the whole purpose of stopping the spread.

According to the LA County Public Health and SoFi Stadium officials, KN95 masks were handed out to every person who entered the venue.

Rules at the Stadium required attendees to wear their masks at all times with the exception of eating or drinking, and yet very few fans were seen on live television wearing them as they cheered on their teams from the stands.

COVID-19 might be decreasing in cases, but it doesn’t mean it can’t spike back up at any given day.

We thought cases were dying down towards the end of 2020 when the Omicron variant decided to then make its debut in January. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Relaxing the mask mandate indoors and encouraging folk to take their masks off could potentially cause our COVID-19 cases to spike back up.

We can’t ‘go back to normal’ or make ‘the new normal’ out of COVID-19 if we continue to rip the mask mandate off at any given chance we get.