Editorial: Common Courtesy

Jocelyn Castañeda

More stories from Jocelyn Castañeda


Photo obtained from Pixabay

Common courtesy is a silent agreement, respect it!

If you’ve been on this earth for more than a few years, there’s something you should have learned by now. That’s common courtesy, or in other words, the most basic form of being respectful and polite. This is a skill you should have learned from simply being around others. Although we all behave differently, common courtesy lays down the foundation for how we should treat one another, and this is very important to understand.

During these times, common courtesy looks a bit different. The usual examples include introducing yourself when you meet someone new, holding the door open for those who follow behind you and smiling back when others smile at you. But I want you to take a second and think about how we can, and absolutely should be, showing respect during a pandemic.

Yes, this of course, includes wearing a mask in public areas, maintaining a farther distance when around other people and refraining from going out when you feel sick in any way. These commonly known acts of respect might sound pretty simple, yet we still have many who refuse to comply.

The beauty of common courtesy is that it allows every single person to feel as though they are being treated fairly without a cost. Right now, many feel that asking for others to be thoughtful of their safety is too much to ask for. And this is ridiculous.

It should be common courtesy for us to respect these simple rules that will help disband the spread of this monstrous pandemic. Don’t you want this horrible year to be over? Yes, I understand that it’s getting tiring and it’s easy to lose hope, but does that mean we have the right to put someone else at risk?

It’s all about respect. Just as you would respect if someone asked you to take your shoes off while walking on their carpet, you should also respect someone’s wishes of wearing a mask when in close contact with them. If you put yourself in a situation where you could possibly be putting someone else at risk, like going to school in person, then you should make it your responsibility to make sure that you are staying as safe as possible. Why? Because common courtesy is a silent agreement. Sure, you can go ahead and come to school, but you better be social distancing when not at school as well. Take accountability and do your part. Don’t just do it for yourself, but do it for those around you.

Keep in mind that lives are at stake. Even though many have been fortunate enough to have survived the virus, many are still experiencing lingering effects. This is serious. Please put the following into perspective. We lost 2,977 souls from what might be our country’s biggest tragedy, 9/11. And we now have lost more than 300,000 fellow Americans from this deadly virus. Hospitals are filling up more and more every day. They’re understaffed, running out of rooms and running out of space to store deceased bodies. The same hospitals that have been dealing with this pandemic for almost a year are drowning now more than ever. Follow common courtesy, and respect the fact that others much rather remain further away from this virus than you might want to.