OP-ED: I Believe the Appropriate Gathering Size Is Exactly the Size of My Own Personal Circle of Friends and No More

COLLEGETOWN TERRACE—Since March of 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the social lives of me and my peers. Now that we are finally back on campus for the Fall 2020 semester, I want to put forward safety guidelines that I expect everyone in the Cornell community to follow. Namely, no gathering should be larger than my own personal circle of friends.

I have approximately 12 friends from 9 different apartments who I have been socializing with on an everyday basis. We frequently have maskless non-distanced gatherings because we all understand that our group is just the right size for COVID transmission risk to be extremely low.

However, I frequently see gatherings of 13+ on campus. Masked or not, this is unacceptable. Are these students not aware of just how contagious and deadly this virus is? I urge everyone in the community having gatherings of precisely 13 or more people to cease immediately, or reduce your gathering size to 12, the size of my friend group.

I’m proud to say that I have reported numerous people for behavior that I feel is unsafe. For example, I only pull down my mask indoors if I am with Bradyn, Braxton, Brentyn, Camden, Jameson, Trenton or Caleb, since we’re pretty tight, but I often see complete strangers socializing with their masks down. Where is your decency? 

We are in this fight together, so please, for the safety and well-being of me and the Cornell Community, limit your gatherings such that they conform to my own arbitrary safety standard that I chose out of personal convenience.

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