Students keep masks on after the mandate was lifted


With the mask mandate freshly lifted, lots of students are conflicted with what they should be doing with regards to wearing a mask in school or not. 

In late February, mask mandates were dropped for all extracurricular activities and sports. Dropping covid cases leads the county to be more comfortable with lifting these restrictions. Covid cases are the lowest they have been since July 2021. Vaccination rates are also something the county looked at when considering doing this. 66% of 12-17 year olds are vaccinated, and 80-90% of staff are vaccinated. 

This mandate being lifted is a big change for students and staff since masks have been mandatory in Wake County Public Schools since March 2020, coming up on two full years. Wake County District members are recommending that students still wear a mask because the effect of not wearing a mask is unknown. 

Many students will continue to keep their masks on for many reasons. These reasons range from keeping themselves and their families healthy to not wanting to show people their faces after 2 years of keeping them hidden…mask-fishers are real! 

I think masks being optional now is refreshing since we’ve been wearing them for the longest time, but in a few weeks, the numbers will show if the county made a good decision or not.  

Could we be going too fast lifting this mask mandate? It’s a big jump towards going back to normal life, but is life without masks really normal after two years of having our faces hidden?

Lucy Beal, freshman, believes masks should stay on for the time being. “I’m going to keep my mask on for now because I don’t know how the disease will spread without masks and I want to keep my family, friends, and myself safe,” said Beal. 

I believe that all of these reasons are part of why masks should continue to be mandated. There are too many unknowns by taking them away. 

Keeping my mask on makes me feel most comfortable and stay safe.”

— Lucy Beal

On the other hand, Lilly Jones, freshman, has the opinion that it’s a good idea to take off the masks. “I’m just sick of the masks, the Covid cases are going down and the masks will have to come off eventually,” said Jones. “If the numbers rise then I will put my mask back on, but it’s a nice breath of fresh air seeing everyone’s faces for the first time.”

I think staying safe is a top priority right now so if wearing masks is how we can achieve that, that’s what we should do. 

No matter what we choose to do, we should make sure that we treat everyone equally and with respect for their choices.