Mask Mandate Lifted

Photo from via Wikimedia Commons

Picture it, you’re trapped in a compact steel machine cylindrically shaped. Someone you’ve never met has your life in their hands.  You’re surrounded by people who you’ve never met, and on top of that, you’re around 38,000 feet in the air. Then, suddenly,  in the midst of a pandemic, an announcement is heard.  “Mask Mandates have now been lifted during aircraft travel.” The plane erupts in cheers and excitement. Finally, most think but there’s a catch, the pandemic is still amidst. 

A Twitter user takes to the site to express their concern over the lift. Below they provide a chart explaining COVID-19 transmission

This thin unwoven fabric has torn our country apart. Something that is supposed to protect us in unprecedented times and has been proven effective, has been under constant questioning and doubt. Because of this, there are people out there that find wearing a mask and following COVID protocols annoying and unneeded. Which was the cause of many joyous celebrations. But just because there was a party doesn’t mean everyone showed up.

COVID-19 is a current problem across the world and our nation. While there have been some improvements, hospitals are still overworked and many cities like Shang-Hai are still under lockdown solely because of the surging numbers of COVID cases. So when this announcement was heard there were many angry passengers. Many took to social media platforms to vent about the situation. They brought to light their concerns on high case numbers, safety, and consideration. As shown in the picture provided this was just one of the many posts dedicated to the situation. 

What Our Own Students Have To Say


For a lot of students at Patriot, this announcement may sound like as late singer Whitney Houston put it, “Same Script Different Cast.” Yes for many of the student population this is all deja vu. Been there done that we all think. This is because at the beginning of March Dr.Bishop made an announcement stating that masks were no longer required and that the choices one makes regarding masks should not be slandered by peers. In light of another public place lifting mask requirements, I spoke to fellow students to get their thoughts on the matter. 

“Honestly I still don’t feel comfortable taking off my mask in school or outside of it. I am vaccinated and boosted but I believe the pandemic is not over yet which means we should not be so hasty in ditching masks,” says Patriot Senior Bruno Zegada 

“I’m honestly in between on the matter. For me, I go by what I think others are okay with. For example, in some classes, I am around people who don’t have a mask on. That’s a time when I feel comfortable taking mine off. But in other classes, I keep it on because I’ll notice other students around me are keeping theirs on. I honestly just want to be considerate to those around me and what seems to make them comfortable,” says Senior Livy Kremer.


Should we still have masks? 


But if masks have been lifted then do we really still need them? The answer is yes. According to Yale Medicine, people should still hold onto their masks. Even during cold and flu season. They also advise that a person make this decision based on the risk level of their country. For example, the US is a Level 3/4 high-risk level country. This means masks should still be used. 

The main issue about lifting a mask mandate on public transportation is that often times public transportation is in poorly ventilated and crowded areas. In fact, Yale Medicine recommends these areas be avoided especially for individuals with a high risk of infection.  

So if these transportation systems are already susceptible to COVID-19 transmission one would assume that any individual would keep their mask on. If not for themselves or those around them. 


What is the conclusion?


It is up to an individual whether or not they want to remain masked. Some feel that if they are vaccinated they shouldn’t have to wear one. Others feel they shouldn’t be vaccinated or masked because of their right to freedom. However, one thing that can be said is that a step like this in the middle of a pandemic is a rushed step backward.