Masks’ importance in COVID-19 prevention still key

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Amika Chaiwongbut

Despite close proximity, Sarah Kenwood and Matthew Tang make sure to wear masks.

STAFF WRITER Amika Chaiwongbut

Mask wearing has been heavily enforced since the beginning of the new school year. Teachers hand out disposable masks to the students who enter the building without theirs. Signs instruct students to wear their masks at all times, but why do several faces slip out of these masks?

Masks drop below the nose or even below the chin when students travel from class to class. In every class or study hall, you will spot at least one nose. When a teacher is in sight, masks stay up. When a teacher is out of sight, masks drop below the nose.

Psychology and Women in History teacher Mrs. McGruddy reports seeing masks down every class and every time she is walking in the hallway. As McGruddy finds herself constantly telling students to pull their masks up, she notices that it is sadly the same students that continue to violate the rule.

Mr. Walton engages a student while wearing his mask.
(Amika Chaiwongbut)

AP Biology teacher Mr. Walton shares similar experiences with Mrs. McGruddy. Walton reports seeing students with their masks off way too often. He acknowledges that masks can be uncomfortable and that some may have medical conditions that exclude them from wearing masks. Mr. Walton reinforces that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I have not read one peer reviewed, scientific study that has shown masks not to be effective. And I have read dozens. I have read numerous articles published on a mask’s effectiveness against pollution, bacteria, and viruses published before the pandemic study even started. I am not sure why the pandemic changed the effectiveness of masks in some people’s minds.”

COVID-19 is still present and masks are reported to be a critical step to a normal life once again. Masks behave like a barrier, preventing respiratory droplets and bacteria from escaping and possibly infecting others. Wearing masks when in crowded areas such as the cafeteria, classrooms and hallways is crucial. The longer masks continue to stay off, the longer COVID-19 will extend its stay.

“We have a vulnerable population. We have students whose family members are part of that vulnerable population. As a biology teacher, I value and appreciate and respect other people’s lives. I do not wish any more people to experience the loss of a loved one to this virus,” added Mr. Walton.

AP Biology students converse through their masks after class.
(Amika Chaiwongbut)