The Globe’s Point: Partying during a global pandemic is selfish, endangers yourself and others

If you are a Point Park student and were on Twitter at any point Sunday night, you probably saw tweets showing a giant group of Point Park students partying, without masks, during a global pandemic. 

If you weren’t, we’ll give you a basic recap. Someone screen-recorded a particular person’s Snapchat story, which showed a throng of Point Park students dancing unapologetically in a room where they were packed and not wearing any face masks on Saturday. 

Obviously, this is problematic for a lot of reasons. 

Let’s start with the fact that Point Park’s COVID-19 guidelines follow those of the county, state and country. The Allegheny County Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC have all advised avoiding social gatherings if possible. And if you should attend a large gathering, you are expected to wear a face mask. President Joe Biden has called for all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his presidency to limit the spread of the virus. 

We know why this party happened, and it’s not just for one reason. Much of the country has developed a lax attitude about the coronavirus pandemic in recent months. With vaccines being administered and lower new case numbers in the month of January in Allegheny County, it is easy to let the fatigue from the pandemic set in and allow apathy to take over. College students feel deprived of the classic college experience in which they party, drink underage and generally find a sort of joy in doing things that will embarrass them not too far down the line just because the peer pressure is too strong. 

These are feeble and pathetic excuses at best. This is a time in which there are multiple different COVID variants spreading across the United States, and deaths related to COVID-19 have reached a record number in the last month. We simply cannot afford to give in to pandemic fatigue or apathy and act as though there are no consequences for our actions right now. 

If you are a Point Park student who attended this party, you may be bemoaning the consequences of getting caught at such an irresponsible event. An even worse consequence is if you happened to contract the virus from someone at the party, or if you already had it and spread it to others at that party, leading to a potential outbreak. A consequence that could lead to people on our campus getting ill from a deadly virus, which has been known to kill more than just the elderly. 

As we’ve stated before in several pieces, the pandemic is far from over, even if you and your friends want it to be. We all want it to be over. That doesn’t change the fact that this virus has not been contained. 

We are not mincing our words because this is a threat to people’s lives on this campus. It potentially puts our teachers, administrators, staff and fellow students in danger. Some people on campus are immuno-compromised or know someone who is. Others may be genetically predisposed to be more vulnerable to the virus’s effects, even if they seem perfectly healthy. So far, we’ve observed relatively few cases of the coronavirus among the Point Park community since the pandemic started, but it only takes one stupid, careless incident for those numbers to spike and people to get sick. 

Pioneers, we hope you learn a lesson from this experience: to never repeat anything similar to it again.