Masking the Pandemic in Schools

After suffering a long and boring time stuck at home, things are finally starting to open up again. However, now that students are out and about and people are gradually getting more comfortable with wearing their masks, problems are starting to present themselves.  

Students are taking off their masks or are not wearing them correctly, which not only puts them at risk, but others, too. People everywhere are wearing their masks under their noses and on their chins. Even with the teachers’ and staff members’ reminders, students continue to wear them incorrectly. They often find it hard to breathe with a piece of fabric confined to them all the time, and it’s obviously more comfortable without them. But at the end of the day, what is more important: safety or comfort?

Schools all over the world have been slowly opening up, but many have to close down again because of COVID outbreaks. These outbreaks are always caused because of one singular reason: students not wearing their masks correctly or not wearing it at all. The education system in Maryland has become more fearful of cases of COVID in their schools, causing them to be more persistent with reminders. But some students still don’t understand the severity of this virus and continue to not wear their masks, putting everyone at risk. Being fully vaccinated doesn’t mean you’re invincible and the rules don’t apply to you. If you’re not vaccinated, it’s especially important to be careful and adequately protect yourself. Everyone is still at risk of getting this virus. That’s why this whole pandemic hasn’t ended and why the world isn’t back to normal. 

It’s really frustrating seeing students our age and older not wearing their masks properly; you would think they had some sense of responsibility and maturity. Almost half the students here at Blake don’t wear their masks properly, while others have been wearing their masks correctly since school started. The students wearing their masks have been helping our community out by doing their part, but the students who don’t wear their masks barely get punished.

Wearing masks properly should be enforced more than it already is. Students who consistently don’t follow the rules should be given a phone call home or a lunch detention, and if bad enough, maybe a suspension. After all, safety is of the utmost importance, especially when dealing with a virus that has killed millions of people.  

There is so much hate and separation in this world because of COVID. There are people that don’t want to wear masks or get vaccinated because of ignorance, misinformation, manipulation, and arrogance. The whole world has turned upside down—people have died, the economy has dropped, fewer people are willing to work, and companies are taking advantage of the pandemic. We have a chance to put a stop to this horrid worldwide event by wearing masks and getting vaccinated; all of this would stop or at least slow down if everyone just takes the necessary precautions to properly protect themselves and others. 

Students are putting everyone at risk by not wearing their masks properly; if we can’t follow the precautions Montgomery County put for us, we can never go back to how schools used to be: brimming with students, teachers and staff, all socializing together, interacting without fear of being infected. This virus can only be stopped with the help of others; only together will this end or together we’ll end, this all starts and stops with us. Now what?

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