Is Wearing a Mask to School Still Beneficial?

With masks becoming an option at school and around the country, is it better to wear a mask to school or not? Before answering this question, it is important to know why masks are becoming optional indoors across the United States. This is mainly due to a recent general decline in Covid-19 cases. The CDC has eased its guidelines on mask-wearing indoors, and masks have become optional in many places. Because case numbers have declined and more people have gotten vaccinated, more than 70% of the U.S. population is cleared to be indoors without a mask. However, continuing to wear a mask is a personal preference and can still protect you from the Covid-19 virus. With the eased guidelines, it is still recommended to get tested before being close to friends or extended family that have a higher risk for the virus in order to minimize the spread. This is because, as soon as cases shoot up again, masks will likely be required in more places again. All of this is key in deciding whether or not you should wear a mask.

Although masks are no longer required, they can still be beneficial. As we’ve seen, variants of the virus come and go. It is expected that new variants will emerge in the future. Continuing to wear a mask can still protect you and others around you from contracting the virus, which further prevents a new variant from spreading. We have also seen a wave of cases going through our community lately.  As of now, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in areas where many cases of Covid are reported or if you are sick or caring for someone who’s sick. People who are immunocompromised or have a family member who is immunocompromised should also still wear a mask due to having a higher risk of contracting or spreading the virus. Because the vaccine also helps to fight the spread, being up to date on the Covid-19 vaccinations is also helpful. It is still, however, possible to become sick even with the vaccine, so testing is also helpful to stop the spread of Covid. With this evidence, it can be seen that wearing a mask can still be beneficial for some, but is not necessary for all.

Although there are reasons to continue wearing masks, not all of these reasons apply to everyone. For example, if you are not immunocompromised or not seeing anyone who is immunocompromised, it may not be necessary to wear a mask. If you are vaccinated, you also may not need to wear a mask. With this information, it is important to know that just because schools are making masks optional does not guarantee you won’t get sick. If you are more comfortable wearing a mask, then it is fine to do so, but if you’d prefer not to wear a mask, it is also fine. In conclusion, it is your choice whether you wear a mask or not and your decision can be based on what you feel comfortable with.

— Emma Javor