On March 14, the mask mandate we have all grown used to here at San Marcos was lifted. There are many different responses to this change, both positive and negative. We released a survey to the students and staff here to ask about their thoughts over the change to find out more about how our school feels.
When asked if people will continue to wear masks after the mandate there was a surprising standstill with people split 50/50 on whether they would keep their masks on or not. Most people choose their answer based on their own personal comfort and their family situations. As well as students making the choice based on their friends comfort levels as well and Teachers also making the choice based on what was best for their students. Though their reasons may be similar, people had many different opinions and feelings on the change.One of the most common student responses explained the sentiment that
said they were excited to finally be back to normal after having to deal with masks for so long, however some would rather stay safe, and think it is better to wait to make sure there will not be negative consequences.
Teachers have the added worry of their students among their personal lives. Some are happy to take off the masks to restore normalcy to their students as well as the mental and social benefits of being able to see each other’s faces. Other teachers want to take their masks off as much as any other person, but worry about the safety and comfort of their students and families if they do so.
Our Librarian Ms. McMillan believes, “Ambivalent—I am certainly happy not to have to remind students about wearing masks properly. On the other hand, I worry for students and staff who are at high-risk for severe COVID. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not over. I’d prefer that everyone be vaccinated before the masks come off.”
There are others that want to take their masks off, but think the timing is not good. In the past changing mask mandates before breaks has only led to more spikes in cases and more deaths in our community. Many people think if we are going to do this, it should be done after spring break.
Along with teachers and students this is what Dr.Alvarez had to say about the new changes, “It makes sense that when things change in the state/county/city that we also adjust in school. I do worry about students that cannot be vaccinated because of their health status – we should still be thinking about protecting each other rather than our own comfort.”
Though we all have differing opinions on this new change we should all be respectful towards each other’s decisions. This is a big change in our long struggle in this pandemic and a possible new beginning. Whether you decide to keep wearing your mask or not, I hope we can all be safe and understanding together as our San Marcos community.
Jess is a sophomore at San Marcos High School…