Opinion Piece: Should Students Get COVID Tests?

Since when did having a civil discussion become more emotionally driven than factually driven?
When the University of Wisconsin-Platteville emailed students strongly encouraging them to get screened and tested for COVID-19, a colleague of mine posted on their Facebook story, “Yes, bribe kids to get COVID tested (laughing emoji)”.
I replied with a thumbs up, since my understanding of COVID-19 as of now is that it is still real and I would not want someone to be in contact with me if I were to have it. That person should not need to disclose they have underlying health conditions in order for me to mask up, social distance and wash my hands. In all actuality, I mask up for this reason and for my own beliefs; I want to set a standard to help slightly reduce the spread.
Some people may think, “Bribing kids makes campus look really great.” Mind you, students are put into a raffle for $100 in campus cash and swag if they get tested. So when your student organizations are trying to recruit people by giving out swag, like bracelets or t-shirts, is it not bribing as well?
We, as Student Senate, had a discussion about COVID-19 with the director of Student Health Services about the importance of testing. Thankfully, I have not been positive for it, but I know people who have and know their stories of their relatives passing away from it directly. Yes, all human life is precious. I do not want to see someone pass away from this disease. This is human health, people: human health.
Some may think, “then just offer the tests for free.” Fun fact, they do offer them for free.
My rationale behind getting tested is to help with contact tracing, especially if you have an in-person class to attend. Some may think that people aren’t completely honest about who they are around whatsoever. I agree to a certain point. I know some people may not want to release that information, and I know other people who may release that information willingly. When it comes down to it, I may accidentally leave out some people that I may have been in contact with because I am around a lot of people and may not know those people’s names. I would hope, and I believe this, that contact tracing allows you to create a sense of integrity in regards to your community. However, only you will know what is best for yourself.
“. . . I had a whole thing typed and I realized this isn’t worth my time. You always slide up on my stories and ask me questions about what I think and blah blah. Ik (I know) you don’t care about that. You want me to think the way you do. You probably think that masks work too. I’m honestly going to block you from my story because I am so sick of this (laughing emoji),” that colleague said. I love exercising the freedom of thought, as anyone should! The only reason I slid up on this person’s story is to further my personal understanding of how people think and why they may think that certain way.
I know, people may think, “philosophy is dumb,” or “stop asking me these questions.” I am trying to understand why they make these claims and reason their support. In all seriousness, I want people I might not agree with to tell me what they are thinking and how they their position.
“You may not think that you’re shoving what you believe at me, but you are. So would you like me to do the same? Masks don’t work. If they do, the numbers would not continue to rise like they do. . . Covid is real, the fear is far[-]fetched and ridiculous and it needs to stop. It’s the media[.] And that’s all.”
I feel sorry for sharing this conversation, but at the same time it is a personal reflection and possibly a shared belief in how we as individual human beings contribute to our society. Am I disagreeing with the claims this person brings? Only partially. Our current society does not know the entirety of what this virus brings. It is only when someone experiences this entirety that they will understand. I am trying to understand how this virus works, and I would agree that my colleague is trying to come to their senses on how this virus works as well. I agree masks do not work. . . 100% of the time. However, a mask does provide some reduction of spread, therefore causing a “glass half-full, glass is half-empty” dilemma. The media does play a part in providing the story on COVID-19, as they provide us the story for other news headlines as well. Perhaps some of these headlines are skewed. Either way, we have the resources and the capacity to compare sources and account for our own bias. I am at least acknowledging that some of us actually have the chance to educate ourselves.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk 2020 on Corona.