Masks should be required for community

Alejandra Pagano, Photo Editor

Recently in New York State, the school mask mandates were dropped which means that The Masters School has lifted their policy as well. Students and faculty are allowed to be on campus and in buildings with no mask but that begs the question as to whether or not this shift is in everyone’s best interest. Personally, I feel that dropping the mask mandates is happening a bit too soon. Along with them dropping the testing, it’s going to make it harder to know who has COVID and to keep us all healthy. It all seems to be moving really fast in such a short time.

 The school should’ve had us keep them for a little bit longer before dropping them. Even though positive COVID cases have been on a decline as of late, there is still a possibility of new variations and spikes, particularly combined with the removal of masks and testing.  If we look back at how many people had suffered from COVID cases, which was 4.92 million cases in New York alone, and 66,907 deaths, we can see how quickly it can spread and how many people can be affected. For example, everyone thought the pandemic was over before and then the omicron variant hit and something like that can happen again at any moment.

In addition, New York is even dropping the vaccine requirements to enter restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters. This means someone could easily go into a public area without being vaccinated, potentially be sick, and spread it to other people they’re around, causing another outbreak. I understand that the other people in those work areas could be vaccinated but it doesn’t mean they can’t get it, they would just be less sick. If that were to happen to someone that attends our school, it could easily be spread to peers and affect the entire community. Everything that Head of School Laura Danforth had worked towards to keep our school safe, could come crashing down in a matter of days.

There’s also been talk about the testing going away along with the mask mandate. Ongoing testing allows the school to know who may have covid and allows them to take steps from there about what they want to do. If monitoring COVID stops, then a student could mistake symptoms for a common cold or any other small illness, come to school, be in close proximity, and spread it. I think this is something that should be in place for the rest of the school year because with the masks off, I feel that testing is one of the only ways left that students and faculty, whether they have chosen to continue to wear masks or not,  can feel safe in the buildings. 

These are honestly a few concerns that I have with the mask mandate being dropped.  I’m glad that the community is enjoying the freedom of no masks and being able to have a feel of what it used to be like before the quarantine but I think we should be cautious because it’s not totally over and another strain can start at any time. I think we should enjoy this while we have it but we shouldn’t get too comfortable just yet.