Are Students Comfortable with Masks Being Optional?

courtesy+of+Shutterstock

courtesy of Shutterstock

Alexa Palafox, Staff Writer

On March 11th, 2022, the mask requirement in California public schools was officially lifted. On March 14th, students returned to school being able to see their teachers and peers for the first time. The question is, is this the right time? Are we certain COVID-19 cases won’t skyrocket because of this decision. The timing has both support and concern from parents, faculty, and students. 

In California alone, there are still 9.05 million positive covid cases across the state, and more than 87,000 deaths up to date. Vaccine companies are finding that elderly and at-risk/immune compromised people may have to get a second booster. Knowing that the vaccine slowly weakens over time, masks are the next best thing to keep yourself safe against the virus. 

Most students asked feel comfortable with masks being optional, however, most of them feel it was the wrong time to allow that decision to be made. Now with the new Omicron sub variant, BA.2, some people feel masks are important now more than ever.

“Honestly, I’m just too lazy to find a mask to bring to school, that’s why I don’t wear a mask,” says Lizzy Makelah, ALHS junior.

Here at ALHS, another factor that should’ve been taken into consideration are the amount of pregnant and elderly teachers at the school, which are considered part of the at-risk community. Many of those categorized teachers are keeping their masks on and have upgraded to the KN-95 masks. 

Nobody can say for sure if this was the right call or not until we observe the impact it has on society. Several students are still choosing to wear a mask; however, most of the student body has chosen to ditch the masks.

“I still keep my mask on because it’s not like the virus just disappeared…it’s still here and still going around,” says Kamille Quinonez, ALHS junior.