States and mask mandates/bans

Mackenzie Zent, Staff Writer

Over the past year and a half, we have all adjusted to a “new normal” due to COVID, and masks have been a big topic for discussion. During the 2020-2021 school year, masks were required by almost all schools Kindergarten through 12th grade. This year, five republican led states are not allowing schools to have a mask mandate for children. Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah all have a mask mandate ban. In my opinion, this is very dangerous. Whether people want to believe it or not, COVID cases are rising again, especially with the Delta Variant spreading so quickly. Half of school aged children are unprotected from the virus. Wearing a mask is the best way to stop the potential spread and will even protect kids from getting other illnesses like the common cold.

I don’t understand why anyone would want to be sick, and if there’s a way to prevent it, why not just do it? Even with the vaccine, people can still get COVID. I know many people who are fully vaccinated but recently got sick with the Delta Variant, so I can only imagine unvaccinated people are at an even higher risk. Even if most children have less severe COVID symptoms than adults, not all children are the same. Kids who are immunocompromised can be at a higher risk for complications and long-term effects of the virus. This is why masks are the best option for children when it comes to protecting themselves against COVID.I know that these states think that it should be a personal choice to wear a mask, but that is honestly just selfish thinking. Why would you not want to keep other people safe from getting a virus that could potentially kill them? I will never understand how after seeing people dying (children included) from this virus over the past year and a half, people could just look the other way and not want to help stop the spread.

It honestly just makes me sad that people are unable to think about anyone but themselves.There are also so many problems going on in this country and making sure kids don’t wear masks to school should not have been the top priority. In my opinion, this speaks volumes on their values and what they deem to be important.From everything I have seen, kids don’t mind wearing masks. My younger siblings are in middle and high school, and not many students have had issues wearing them in their schools. I also think that a mask can act as a cute accessory, especially for kids. There are all kinds of fun patterns and different Disney character masks that make them fun for kids to wear. States should not be able to stop schools from requiring masks. In the grand scheme of things, wearing a mask does not impact learning. It can only help kids, not hurt them.