Why Masks Need to Be Used Properly in School


Samantha Ramirez, Herald Staff Writer

Students and teachers are not taking the proper precautions to keep themselves and each other safe. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and things will continue to get worse if our actions are not safe. We are not at a point during this pandemic in which it is safe to not be wearing masks. Everything that is going on right now is still new to everyone, which means it can be difficult to adjust. However, wearing masks is one of the many things that is keeping us safe. The students and teachers in the Holyoke High North Campus building are not wearing their masks properly 100% of the time. Some parents and students want the mask mandate in schools to be removed. On the other hand, there are others who are following the mask mandate and wearing their masks properly. This is a good thing because it keeps everyone safe.
Some students in the classroom wear their mask under their nose when they are around others, which is not just for a minute or two. It is for the majority of the class time. There is at least one student in every single one of my classes that is not wearing their masks correctly. I don’t think people understand how serious this pandemic is and that it has affected many people in a negative way. In order to limit the effects of the pandemic on society, we have to take all the measures because of COVID. In the hallways, there are also multiple people not wearing their masks properly, which is unsafe for everyone. We have to think about the people who come to school and then go home to their grandparents, older people they live with, or someone with a high risk of getting this virus. We also have to think about the safety of ourselves and other students who we could potentially be putting in danger.
There are many parents and students that want the mask mandate in schools to go away. The masks that we are required to wear are one of the few things keeping us safe from the virus. When the mask mandate in Holyoke ended, people would go into stores and other places around Holyoke without masks. Because of this, the COVID cases went up. This is why Holyoke now reinstated the mask mandate once again in early October. The article “Citywide Mask Mandate to Go into Effect 10/6/2021” states that regardless of whether or not you have the vaccine, it is mandatory to wear a mask at any indoor spaces in Holyoke if you are over the age of two. However, this mask mandate did not last long. The city removed the mandate on November 3rd. Taking away the mask mandate in schools will only put more people in danger. It is not just the staff and students who can be affected by this, but also their families and the people who they come in contact with. The classrooms and school are too crowded in order for students to maintain a six foot distance from each other. Right now, the most important thing we can do is keep ourselves and each other safe.
Most of the students and teachers here at Holyoke High are taking the necessary precautions due to this pandemic. If everyone in this school is following the mask mandate and taking all the precautions they can, our safety will be enhanced. COVID-19 is not a joke and people are not taking it as seriously as they should. We need more than the majority of the school doing the right thing. We need the entire school to in order for the pandemic to settle down. The people who are wearing their masks properly, social distancing and doing everything they can to keep themselves and others safe are those who are going to make a difference in the world.
Together as a school, we need to be better at keeping ourselves and each other safe. We do not know the home situation of other students. Because of this, we have to be considerate. The school as a whole needs to take more safety precautions such as cleaning desks and chairs after every class. I get that it can be time consuming and take time out of learning. However, it is a small thing we can do to keep each other safe. Things are different now because of this pandemic and I know people just want it to be back to normal. Despite this, we are not at that point yet so all we can do is try and keep everyone safe.