MONROE, CT — Since the end of April 2020, everyone has been required to wear a face mask in public to further prevent the spread of Covid-19. But a lot has changed over the past few weeks due to significant changes to the masking guidelines. Among them, Governor Ned Lamont lifted the mask mandate on Feb. 28 allowing Connecticut school districts to enforce mask policies at a local level.
Almost a month later, many teachers and students alike have made the choice to ditch their masks. When you walk through the halls of Masuk, you are able to see almost everyone’s face. Students and faculty have navigated this overnight change in different ways.
Seeing the faces of those most haven’t seen in nearly two years can be exciting for some, but others think it was not the right time to take this step.
“They definitely got rid of the mandate way too soon,” said Luisa Friend, a Masuk senior. “I think they should’ve voted with the student body or the parents, because kids will not make the safe decision.”
Others choose to stay fairly neutral to the situation. Some said they appreciate the ability to make a choice for themselves, while still being aware of the increased risk of catching the virus.
Sara Ostrosky, a senior, said, “I like that there is a choice about the mask mandate now. I like being able to wear or not wear a mask based on what I’m comfortable with. There are certainly greater risks while wearing no masks, but it’s nice to see everyone’s faces. It was a little difficult to go back to being maskless in school after wearing masks for so long.”
Administrators discourage judging others for their choices regarding this matter. Mask or no mask, students and teachers are encouraged not to judge others for their decisions.
“They are really annoying to wear and I’m glad it’s over,” said Tristan Smith, a sophomore. “However, the school has made it very clear to keep your opinions to yourselves and not make fun of anyone who chooses to wear a mask.”
There has always been a conflict about whether to wear the mask, or to not wear the mask. After having masks in their lives for so long, some students are eager for things to be the way they were before the pandemic.
“It makes for a more comfortable work environment and it gives students a chance to see each other like how they did before COVID, y’know?” said Daniel Hyde, a track captain.
Many students said they will likely continue to go maskless for the remainder of the school year.