The End of the Mask Mandate

By: Brooke 23-Lohle

The mask mandate has been lifted in the high school for a while now and students and faculty have been given time to adjust to the new atmosphere and make their own decision on whether or not to continue wearing a mask in school. This topic has been a derisive one throughout the pandemic, so it’s important to hear from both sides to see what differing viewpoints exist in our school.

Most people’s decision boils down to their comfort and safety level.

 “It all comes down to personal opinion,” said Lola Resendes ’23, who still wears a mask.

 Some people still wear their masks out of concern for themselves or family members who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to preexisting conditions.

 Others prefer to keep the mask off because it’s more comfortable and easier to connect with others when their face is visible. 

Alyssa DiGrandi ’23, who doesn’t wear a mask anymore, said that the main rule to follow is to “be respectful”.

“Be respectful of other people’s decisions to wear a mask and be responsible to wear one if you feel sick or at risk,” DiGrandi explained. 

 Respect and dependability are two core attributes of PRIDE at our high school and many people base their decisions on these traits; the general hope is that anyone, regardless of mask usage, will be respectful of both sides and use logic to know when to wear one and when to leave it at home.

There are also some concerns with the lenient mask mandate.

 “It’s easier to keep a mask mandate on when you still have it because that’s the norm, but it’ll be much harder to return to it when people have already gotten used to not wearing one anymore,” said DiGrandi ’23. 

The administration was already struggling to enforce students to wear masks properly before the lift, but now that it’s completely gone, many people might object to a reinstatement of the mandate now that they’ve experienced not wearing one in school for the first time in two years.

 Hopefully, the pandemic will not worsen enough to require harsher mandates in the first place, but if it ever does, the community will have to hold each other up to the expectation that masks will be worn by the entire student body again. 

During this pandemic, wearing a mask has been one of the most controversial topics in the US. Many people have outright refused to wear one even during the most dangerous point of the pandemic, and fighting against anti-maskers was a common sight both on social media and in real life. Luckily, the school seems to have a “live and let live” mindset when it comes to the mask mandate. The lifting of the mask mandate has given students a new responsibility to themselves and the people around them, and with that has come the opportunity to prove our school as a tolerant place- and for the most part, it has worked out well.