A majority, if not all, public Jersey Shore school districts have declared that students must wear face masks while class is in session.

Listen to Nicole Murray middays on 94.3 The Point and download our free 94.3 The Point app.

For me, it's not surprising.

The COVID-19 delta variant has caused a spike in confirmed cases and the threat of the coronavirus may increase as the weather gets colder and people spend less and less time outside.

But there are many parents who are protesting this rule. They are arguing that it is an infringement upon on their rights. Others say they do not want to be controlled and want to parent their kids how they see fit.

I am shocked.

This COVID-19 Pandemic has proven one thing: that we must learn how to put our differences aside to beat this thing.

I know that sounds like a cheesy inspirational quote, but in this case it is a fact.

That is thee because of one main factor about this virus --  your decisions will directly affect the health of others.

You can carry the virus without showing symptoms which means that every decision you make will affect others who you come into physical contact with.

This means other kids, other adult, other friends and other family members' lives are put at risk through no fault of their own.

If you are choosing to not be vaccinated, that is your choice. That mask is the second line of defense.

However, there are still a lot of kids who are not eligible to receive the vaccine yet. This means that they are the most vulnerable.

When students -- your children -- are going to school with bunches of other kids, teachers and staff members, that mask is the only thing protecting them from a virus that has already taken the lives of thousands.

Imagine, in a class of let's say 30, if one student goes to school while unknowingly positive with COVID.

That means that 30 other students and then 30 other subsequent households that they go home to will now be put at risk.

This could include grandparents, people who are immunocompromised, people with asthma and other high-risk individuals. You and I both know these people would most likely have to be hooked up to a ventilator in a hospital to have any chance of surviving.

I am telling you what you already know, I know.

But now I am begging you.

Encourage your child to wear the face mask. Encourage them to understand that their actions do not just affect their own health and well being.

Very rarely are we all stuck in a situation where our own personal outcome is affected by the decisions of our neighbor.

But unfortunately, this is one of those times.

We all hate the masks. We all hate the restrictions.

But we must all do them and hate them together so we can get to the light at the end of the tunnel and keep as many people healthy as possible.

We've come a long way and the end of this pandemic is coming.

We just have to make the right choices to get there.

I thank you and stay safe.

Nicole S. Murray.

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