MASK UP! How students feel about masks and covid restrictions in school

MASK UP! How students feel about masks and covid restrictions in school

Alex Blacklock, Journalist

About a year and a half ago our lives would change and the world would be turned completely upside down due to covid 19. What started as a two week break from school to “slow the spread” turned out to be a year and a half of lockdowns, quarantine, stay at home orders, online school, masks, and worrying about the health and safety of loved ones.

Over 700,000 Americans have lost their lives due to covid and over 43,000,000 people have contracted the virus. These statistics are extremely frightening and for the past year and a half, Americans have taken precautions to fight this virus. Covid is still a threat today, but as cases start to go down and the vaccine becomes available to everybody we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Frederick County schools are fully open, people are starting to go back to work, and life is starting to look a little more normal, but Covid restrictions are definitely still present in our everyday life, especially at school.

While the effects of Covid have been devastating, the effects that Covid restrictions have had on America’s youth is also extremely frightening. Mental health issues among adolescents are at an all time high and many experts believe Covid restrictions put in place have something to do with it. But what do the students think? How have the restrictions affected them? And are they in favor of the restrictions? We’re about to find out!  

What are the restrictions?

Before we get into how the restrictions are impacting students, it is important to know what the restrictions we are still following at school. The most obvious one is the mask. All students have to wear their masks while inside the school. Another restriction is the quantity of people that can be indoors. Many people could not get tickets to homecoming because the number of tickets was limited. While many things have returned to normal, it is clear that we do still face restrictions due to Covid.

Are students in favor of masks?

Out of a survey of 90 students, 70 of them were in favor of having to wear masks and 20 were for no masks. It is clear that most students are in favor of wearing masks. So why do so many students want to wear masks? Annika Rosencrantz (12) admitted that “masks can be a pain in the neck to wear,” but she then went on to say that “it’s worth the inconvenience. I’m not wearing the mask for me. I’m wearing it for my loved ones and people around me who can’t get the vaccine or have a compromised immune system.” Her views are shared by many who think we should have to wear masks, and it shows that students still take the virus seriously, and that protecting each other is worth the inconvenience of wearing a mask. 

Negative Impacts

While it is very clear that most students are in favor of the masks, there are some students who argue against the masks. Dylan Lange (11) said, “Many people do not wear the masks over their nose and it is a hard rule to enforce. So it is not really effective. There is no point in having that rule.” Other students said that the masks make it hard to breathe and focus in class. 

What happens now?

It is very clear that most students want to stay in masks for right now, but everybody agrees that it is not ideal and wants things to change soon. Obviously, before things change the number of Covid cases will have to go down in our county, which could take a while. So while it looks like masks and restrictions won’t go away very soon, it also is clear that most students want the mask to stay and think it is important for the time being.