Herbert’s new COVID mandates and student’s views


Taylor S. Fischbeck

An infographic of Governor Herbert’s new mandate and the possible fine.

Taylor S. Fischbeck, Editor

As of Sunday, November 8, 2020, Governor Herbert announced new COVID mandates. The new mandates include limited social gatherings, a statewide mask mandate, and a hold on extracurricular activities. The reasons for this are simple: high stakes. “The state has recorded thousands of new cases of the virus in the past week, with the death toll climbing and hospitals nearing capacity,” said Fox13 News reporter Ben Winslow.

One of Herbert’s hopes is that the mandates will lessen the curve and make people aware that this is serious. Many weren’t surprised by the news given that the mandates are what we’ve been urged to do for months. “It’s really just the same things that we’ve been told for a really long time so it doesn’t feel like anything […] shocking. I just don’t know if you can tell what [Herbert] wants anymore. It’s definitely going to keep getting worse before it gets any better [so all] we can do is hold those that we love close and just wait out the storm pretty much,” stated senior Maddie Baldwin.

The only new thing that Herbert introduced was the fact that violators of the mandates may be susceptible up to a fine of $10,000. NPR reporter Laurel Wamsley stated, “Herbert said the state ‘will not tolerate organizers of public gatherings that do not exercise the required precautions of social distancing and mask-wearing.’”

Fining people a large amount of money can be seen as extreme but it may scare people into being more cautious. An unfortunate tactic that the government has to use. However, in response to the mandate, it appears the people have been bulk buying items again such as toilet paper. “With the rise in cases and deaths on the rise, I believe people are starting to panic again because the numbers for COVID-19 are starting to rise faster and faster and faster,” said senior Tacoma Miera. 

Senior Monique Canton hasn’t really thought about people going into a panic. She stated that it makes sense for people to stock up on supplies but at the same time she believes that “many people are over this pandemic and are going to ignore necessary precautions.”

“Many hospitals are nearly maxed out with patients that are in critical condition due to coronavirus,” said Canton. “Many units at the U of U hospital are shutting down (like elective surgeries) due to heavy patient loads. We no longer have an abundance of healthcare available. Also, we don’t know as much [more] about this virus than we do about influenza or another illness, so it’s important that we protect ourselves and others from what could be a deadly disease. This virus spreads too fast to be a careless carrier.”

Senior Tate Seaman, who has had COVID previously, believes that people reserve the right to not wear a mask. However, he knows just how serious it can be. “If people want to protect loved ones or family who have underlying conditions, I suggest that they probably follow [the mandates] or [if they] get sick, distance themselves from that person.” Seaman mentioned how important it was to be able to build resistance to the virus. No one wants to get sick but at the same time, it can be beneficial. “I think that building up antibodies is more important than making everyone stay at home and not being able to be healthier because of it.”

An ugly truth is that if someone gets sick, their body creates ways to fight it off, therefore, making a second infection less likely, and if it were to happen again, the body would be able to defend itself better. This evolution is important to the survival of the human and is especially true with the younger generation.

In his message, Herbert stated that groups of 15-24 years old are a common source for the virus. Given that this age group are the ones who will be leading the country in the future, it’s crucial for them to approach this virus seriously. Many traditional holiday celebrations have to be changed because of the fast spread of the virus. “I feel like if we can all understand the importance of social distancing and shutting down our social lives, this could all be over sooner,” Canton said. “It’s going to be hard to not have fun, but it’s what needs to be done so that we could have these types of social gatherings in the future.” 

Not being able to see our family and friends for the holidays and the pain of having to remember a mask every time you leave your house will be difficult but as mentioned previously, it’s a necessity. Everyone wants their lives to return to normal but unfortunately, we can never return to the ways things used to be. We have to adapt and evolve and come together to be able to fight this. We’ve lost so much in 2020, it’d be devastating to know that our downfall was a virus. There will be a day where we won’t have to wear masks every day but until then, take the necessary precautions and listen to the governor.