Wearing masks is much better than learning virtually


Addison Kania

Of course, right now everyone wants to get rid of masks. We are tired of having to remember to grab one when we leave for school. We are tired of not being able to catch our breath when we walk up a flight of stairs. We are tired of only seeing the eyes of our classmates and teachers. However unfortunate the circumstances are, masks may be one of the things that is keeping us actually in school.

We all remember how last year was doing school virtually. For me, it was not the highlight of my year and I feel most can agree with that. I would never want to return to that type of learning. However, I am fearful that is where we could be heading if masks are no longer required.

Recently, Governor Tom Wolf announced that on January 17, 2022, mask requirements would no longer be state-mandated but instead handed over to local control. This means that schools will be able to determine whether or not masks are required in school.

I would love to hop on board with the idea that masks may no longer be required yet there are a few things holding me back.

For one, many people are still not vaccinated. Although this is a personal decision, which I respect, I am not confident that we would be able to keep cases to a minimum if masks are no longer required. At school, students are interacting with each other constantly, causing things like COVID to spread easily.

Additionally, the time at which the state-wide mask mandate is lifted is during traditional flu season and when people are already coming down with colds. Masks will help us to stop the spread of germs throughout the building so we can keep absences from schools to a minimum. It does not make sense to me to remove masks in a time of year when sicknesses are so readily spread.

Lastly, there are a lot of factors that go into the mask requirement policy. The administration will have to look at the current COVID cases and all the CDC guidelines at the time. With our current state, where cases are already rising, it does not seem promising that we will be in a good place come January. We do not want to see a hasty decision be made so we end up in virtual learning again.

I am still holding out hope that we will be able to decrease the amount of COVID cases and have a stronger idea of what is going on in our area, but for now I feel that continuing to wear masks is the best way to go.