Dear Classmates, Please Keep Wearing Your Mask

Samantha Elkins, News Editor

Dear Classmates,

At this point, we are all well aware of this pandemic. The countless, “So, are you virtual or in-person?” conversations with adults seem routine now. The news knows it, the world knows it, we know it; COVID-19 is everywhere. This version of high school is definitely not what we had in mind, but at the end of the day, life goes on. We adapt to the new norms and try to stay safe while continuing to live normal lives. Participating in the activities we enjoy and safely venturing outcomes down to one thing: wearing your mask. 

Although masks sometimes feel uncomfortable, it is important to put mask-wearing into perspective. Prior to vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing masks both outside and inside. Now, those who are vaccinated may congregate outdoors mask-free. We can appreciate these improvements, but mask-wearing only enables us to do so many activities – just imagine what continuing to wear them can do for our communities.

Wearing masks indoors makes a difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and makes a return to normalcy more likely. Yes, Florida recommends but does not require masks in public places. Despite this, I urge you to wear your mask. Omicron — the newest variant of COVID-19 — is extremely contagious and can infect anyone, even those who are vaccinated and boosted. Masks provide protection from any variant, preventing droplets, sprays or bacteria from entering your mouth or others’.

If someone is infected with COVID-19 and is wearing a mask, the mask will block the infectious particles they exhale. If any particles do escape, if others in the room are masked, they will most likely not contract the virus. Evidence also shows masks protect the wearer, even if those around them remain unmasked. Scenarios like this happen every day and further emphasize how masks help protect you, even if you are negative for COVID-19. 

If we all continue to protect ourselves and others, this pandemic will stop interfering with our lives much faster. Do what is right, not what is easy. The discomfort of a mask is worth ending a pandemic. Wear your mask; it’s not that much to (m)ask for. 


A Fellow Student