Masks Should be Mandated


Espy Padgett

With the pandemic still at play, Guest Contributor Esperanza Padgett shares their thoughts on whether schools should mandate masks or not.

Espy Padgett, Guest Contributor

Masks are a touchy subject for schools to address, many coming to the conclusion that it should be every person’s individual choice whether or not they wear a mask. Even in schools where it is mandated, some students or staff still refuse to put on a mask.

Protests and several district meetings have tried to address the issue of whether masks should or should not be mandated, but many have to face the truth.

A pandemic is a disease that has been spread, and continues to spread, not just in one area but all over the world. Coronavirus is a worldwide issue that may continue for years to come with only newer variants developing, omicron being the most recent mutation. 

Masks work by filtrating the air from bacteria, yours and others, as one breathes in and out. The double layer provides this protection not just from COVID but any other airborne disease or illness. 

The idea of masks is not a new concept which is why nurses and doctors use it for surgeries and other medical procedures to maintain the sterile environment they work in, because it prevents bacteria and viruses from spreading. 

The reason the choice of wearing a mask cannot be left up to a student is because although it may be their choice in a free country, it could make other students choosing to wear a mask unsafe or uncomfortable.

For students who have compromised immune systems, their health is at risk because of the choice of others refusing the recommended precautions. This shows that it does not just affect the person refusing a mask, but others as well, making this unfair.

Of course, masks are not the only way to stop the spread, CDC recommends hand washing, frequent sanitizing, frequent testing, and quarantining when sick and they have even updated and shortened the amount of days one needs to quarantine for. These things should also be mandated and held to a strict code to follow to ensure the safety of others. 

This is once again a pandemic, meaning it will take the world to stop its spread and it starts with us. Stores and businesses are doing their part of mandating these things as well as refusing service to those they think would hinder the health of the community and school districts should as well or offer alternate methods of learning, for example online learning, if the student body refuses to wear a masks as well as other safety precautions in the peak of COVID-19.