Masks shouldn’t be removed quite yet

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

A couple of weeks before Spring Break, the Mercyhurst Community received an email stating that the only places we were required to wear masks was in classrooms and labs. While students, faculty and staff could still wear masks everywhere if they so choose, many people hopped at the opportunity to be able to breathe more freely. Initially, this came with a plan that for two weeks after Spring Break, the original mask mandate of wearing masks in all indoor spaces would return, but this was just reversed on Mar. 11, with another community email stating that masks would only be required in classrooms and labs but not anywhere else.

While I am happy that we don’t have to wear masks as often anymore, I am a tad bit concerned about keeping this rule just after Spring Break, when most people have traveled far off campus to relax. Furthermore, there’s still a fair number of students that are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.The lifting of mask mandates pretty much everywhere, let alone Mercyhurst, has been a bit of a concern for me especially because of those that are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. I can name at least one person on campus who said they would get vaccinated, but have yet to do so, and this loosening of the mandate allows them to not wear masks and therefore be riskier with what they do.

Since Mercyhurst students that received their Covid-19 vaccinations were required to upload documentation of their vaccine card, Mercyhurst should take advantage of this and inform students without vaccinations or full vaccinations that they still need to wear masks everywhere or deal with the consequences, such as getting sick with Covid-19.Additionally, I believe that it’s a big risk for Mercyhurst to keep the same mask restrictions when so many people traveled for Spring Break. I had some friends go home to nearby cities while others went to destination trips such as Florida, so it might be safer to keep on masks for at least the first week after Spring Break. If this is not manageable, the least that should happen is that whoever traveled off campus for Spring Break should receive a Covid-19 test within the first week so that the chances of breakouts on campus can be minimized.

Overall, I believe it’s good that we’re approaching a way that’s getting us back to normal, but I also feel like we’re going a little bit too fast. Covid-19 is still very much around and it’s not going away anytime soon, but as long as we’re careful, I can only hope that by the time I graduate (which is next year), we’ll no longer need masks.