The more people who get sick, the more likely we are to have to go back online or scale back some of what we can do like events, activities, full face-to-face or Assembly Hour. See AUC’s COVID dashboard to learn more about the rate of transmission.
Reason #2: Protect yourself
Protect yourself and your friends from getting sick, being away from campus and missing group assignments, classes and exams. In addition to missing work and not being able to come to campus, you could also get sick. Just because you are young and healthy, doesn’t mean there is not still a risk of complications or long COVID. Being vaccinated also doesn’t mean you can’t get sick.
Reason #3: Protect your family and community
Do your part to make sure the more vulnerable age groups — parents, grandparents and younger siblings — don’t get sick. You don’t want to be part of a chain of transmission that can lead to someone who gets sick and develops severe complications or worse.
Reason #4: Make others feel safe
By not wearing your mask, you are causing other people around you stress and anxiety because they don’t feel safe. You are also not following the current campus safety guidelines.
Reason #5: Act responsibly
Make sure you are not part of a chain of transmission because you might be a carrier and not aware (asymptomatic), so you are actively infecting others around you. Even if you are vaccinated, you can transmit the virus.
Being outdoors is not enough reason to be without a mask. According to the CDC, if you are outdoors in areas where there are lots of people (like the Plaza during assembly hour) and high transmission like Egypt, you should be wearing your mask
The coronavirus pandemic is not over.
The Delta variant is now in Egypt (wave 4) and has caused spikes of infection in many countries around the world. Moreover, there continues to be a risk of other variants in the future (if vaccination continues to lag around the world) that could be more severe or resistant to the vaccines.
Being vaccinated does not mean you can’t infect others nor does it mean you will not get sick. The purpose of vaccination is to reduce or eliminate severe illness and death. Vaccinated individuals could have no symptoms or mild symptoms, which means their vaccination is effective.
People who have previously caught the virus before can still catch it again and can still be contagious - not immune.
The Delta variant is spreading more rapidly among the unvaccinated younger age group - from 15-30 - unlike the first wave which hit older populations.
You can be a carrier without symptom
The only way to protect yourself and others from catching the virus is by doing 3 things all the time:
a. Mask wearing (indoors and outdoors)
b. Social distancing
c. Washing hands/disinfecting
Do's and Don'ts of Persuasion
Volunteer Etiquette Guide
Know the data. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely your message will get across.
Anticipate some of the challenges some students have with wearing masks.
Have a list of FAQs handy. Also, have additional resources in case students want to know more. Check out the Top 5 Reasons to Wear a Mask (see above).
Practice with other student volunteers before going out to meet the community. It would also help to practice on faculty members. You may contact Professor of Practice Firas Al-Atraqchi for practice if you wish.
Be motivated. If you are not motivated, your message will likely not get through. By the same token, you should believe in what you are communicating.
Have direction and purpose. Know your audience, and know why you are speaking with students on campus: to show them that wearing masks is a necessity for health and safety.
Dress well to appear organized and well-kempt.
Be outgoing and smile at all times. This may seem odd, given that you are wearing a mask, but you can tell if someone is smiling from their eyes and facial contractions.
Know when to approach someone. If someone is engaged in a conversation with others, do not interrupt them. Be courteous.
Be composed, keeping in mind that you may be ridiculed, insulted or totally ignored.
Speak slowly and clearly and be ready to repeat yourself if asked.
Be relaxed but attentive.
Be patient above all else. Getting a message across can take time and care.
Be prepared to listen and be genuinely interested in what students are saying to you and what feedback you are getting. Again, this shouldn't be a sales pitch but rather a conversation.
Do not react emotionally, appear nervous or respond in kind if insulted.
Do not give up if students walk away from you. You should expect rejection and objection. If you succeed in getting through to just one person out of 10, that one person will influence their friends and family, starting a chain reaction of appropriate masking behavior.
Do not be distracted, uninterested or negligent.
Do not sound like you are making a pitch, reading from a script or selling something. Read over your communication several times until you feel comfortable with it. Do not recite, and be inclusive.