Home OpinionEditorial EDITORIAL: Should We Still Be Wearing Masks Upon Request?

EDITORIAL: Should We Still Be Wearing Masks Upon Request?

by Avery Nixon

Most high schoolers yearn for the college experience that is often depicted as a period of adulthood, partying, making friends and taking classes you actually love. Nonetheless, that is not the experience most of us got during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students stayed six feet apart from their peers, couldn’t leave campus or have friends in their dorms and many other consequences that ruined the college experience.

As another school year kicks off, still enduring the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now find ourselves in a predicament of whether we should wear masks.

Wearing masks used to be mandatory for all activities indoors, but the mandate was lifted at the end of the spring 2022 semester.

Most students rejoiced and celebrated the fact we got to return to campus and experience the typical college experience we’ve always dreamed of. However, after the first week of classes, we realized we were not in the clear yet. Some instructors have requested that students still wear masks to continue to keep students and those they come into contact with safe.

After years of wearing the masks and hating them, should we still wear one if requested by a professor?

Well, there are two ways to look at it.

For starters, we live in a world where there have always been immunocompromised people. For the most part, those people would have to adjust their life to go out in the world, but typically the non-immunocompromised have not made adaptions for others around them.

Some people may believe that if you are the one at risk of becoming very ill or even dying, you should stay home.

Does everyone feel that way? Absolutely not, but with the mandate being lifted, do those students get a choice on whether they’ll wear one or not?

Some students may feel as if the COVID-19 pandemic is over and they just want to return back to normal as the pandemic was traumatic for all of us.

However, the other side of this makes a compelling argument.

Students are not being requested to wear hazmat suits or gas masks. We are asked to wear a paper mask weighing roughly 0.0308647 pounds. Is it really that much of a burden to just wear it?

Not to mention, the fact that the less than a pound paper mask saves the lives of your peers, their loved ones and your own. It is not such an outrageous request for something that saved millions of people during the pandemic.

Yes, we want the average college experience, every student does. However, how does wearing a face mask and doing nothing else differently affect that?

In addition to that, not every professor is even asking their students to wear them. We are not wearing masks on the same scale as the last few years.

Wearing masks is not the most ridiculous request ever heard. COVID-19 did not disappear from our lives and neither did the responsibility of keeping our peers safe.

Students are still testing positive for COVID-19 and we’re all pretty confident that no one is dreaming every night, giggling in their jammies, that maybe they’ll finally get the virus from someone in class.

Quarantining for the virus is way more of an annoyance than wearing an almost weightless mask. Imagine missing a whole week of classes and what that’ll do to your grades, understanding of the material and the workload you have to make up.

The possibility of outcomes from not wearing masks is just not worth it in the end.

Immunocompromised students deserve the typical college experience just like the rest of us. We have a duty to protect ourselves and our classmates who may be at risk.

So, if a professor requests you wear a mask, do the adult thing and wear one. If you won’t wear one for yourself, wear one for those whose lives may depend on it.

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