Mask Up, GVSU. It’s the Right Thing to Do.

In an effort to reverse an increasing trend of coronavirus cases, Governor Gretchen Whitmer mandated mask wearing in Michigan this past week, expanding previous requirements and attaching a $500 fine for anyone found violating the new order. Here in Allendale, we are still grappling with COVID-19 and its effects. Meadows Crossing asks that our residents comply with the new order and wear their masks. It’s time to mask up, GVSU. 

What Are the New Mask Up Rules? 

In effect as of July 13, 2020, the new order requires that:

  • Businesses open to the public refuse to serve people who refuse to mask up or even allow them on the premises.
  • People wear masks when in crowded outdoor spaces
  • People wear masks when they are in indoor public spaces

Governor Whitmer asked Michiganders to wear a mask in public settings months ago, but this new order adds a $500 fine to anyone violating the order. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including children younger than 5 years of age, those with a medical condition that causes them to be unable to tolerate face covering, and people who will be eating or drinking while seated in a bar or restaurant. 

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day,” Whitmer said, “doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy. By wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”

What Does This Mask Up Mandate Mean for Us at GVSU?  

First, everyone here wants our lives in Allendale and at the university to go back to normal as soon as possible. No one enjoys living in lockdown. Everything is far more enjoyable when we can be together and talk and touch other people as we usually do. Standing far away from people and wearing a mask is uncomfortable. No one likes it. We all want to have as normal a fall semester at Grand Valley as possible. 

However, given the way that coronavirus cases have been increasing around the country after events involving large crowds, if we want to control this disease and go back to living our lives, we have to make changes in our lives in the short term. The easiest way for all of us to do that is to wear a mask. 

In other more populated areas of the world like in a number of Asian countries, periodic mask wearing is normal. Taiwan, despite being geographically adjacent to China where the COVID-19 outbreak began, has had only 449 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths. Taiwan learned how to navigate a respiratory pandemic during the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks in 2003 and 2009. The citizens of Taiwan were conditioned to wear masks and conduct testing and contact tracing because of it, and they have had minimal coronavirus casualties as a result. 

If we all follow Taiwan’s example, wear a face mask, and stay physically distant from each other when we’re inside businesses or in close proximity to each other outdoors, we have a chance at beating this disease much sooner than if we ignore it and hope it goes away.

At our Meadows Crossing stores you can expect to see signs requiring masks. We also ask you to keep space between each other at the bus stops, on the buses, and when using our outdoor amenities or common areas. Please don’t mistreat staff or others who are wearing masks or insisting on mask use. We need to be supportive of each other as a community. 

Wearing a mask is an effective tool against the spread of coronavirus. It’s the easiest and best way for all of us to fight this together. We are a strong, compassionate community, and we want others outside of our apartment community who are looking for apartments for rent in Allendale MI near GVSU to know that this is a safe community full of people who care about each other and the general welfare of their fellow students and neighbors. Please mask up, GVSU. It’s the right thing to do. 

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