Masks Shouldn’t Be Worn In School


Ellie Yang

The decision on whether or not masks should come off have been long disputed in the community

Matthias Jaylen Sandoval, Social Media Manager/ Distribution Manager

“Put your mask up”. 

“Mask over your nose please”.

“You have a beautiful nose but I don’t want to see it”.

These phrases have become all too familiar to us but on Tuesday, March 1, Head of School Laura Danforth announced that the school could finally breathe clearly again. The Masters community will no longer be required to wear masks indoors.

The mask mandate imposed on schools by Former Governor Andrew Cuomo and continued by current Governor Kathy Hochul has finally ended. This is the end of an era, and we as a community have taken a step forward in getting Masters back to normal. 

Let’s be clear, earlier in the pandemic Masters absolutely needed to require masks. The world was a scary and uncertain place when we didn’t have the tools and research like we do now but I can assure you that now is the perfect time to drop that requirement. 

According to the CDC, Westchester county has low COVID-19 levels. Per every 100,000 people in Westchester County, there are fewer than 200 positive cases. Masters also requires every community member, unless they had an exemption, to receive both doses of the vaccine and the booster shot. With Covid numbers relatively low in Westchester County, plus the vaccine mandate at Masters, we are all protected. and there is really nothing any community member should be worried about. 

Who are we to question the health guidance from professionals like the HAT or even the CDC? The CDC was created to protect and advise citizens of the United States. The CDC knows what’s best and what is safe for us through all their extensive and exhaustive research. The CDC is not scared to offer guidance that restricts a “normal” life and activity so their research and guidance is very trustworthy. Should any individual not feel comfortable with taking the masks off, that is totally okay. I even encourage those who feel uncomfortable without a mask to keep them on. That should be an individual decision, not a mandate that should be burdened on to the whole community.

No one should have any worries about catching the virus. Since the start of the pandemic, Masters took incredible initiative in creating the Healthy Advisory Team (HAT) and they don’t make their decisions lightly. Every member of the HAT is qualified to lead this community and they have every community member’s best interest in mind. They would not have made this decision without considering all the possible risks. Knowing that they finally made that decision tells me that all the possible risks are very minimal. 

Students including myself have been sick and tired of wearing masks for about two years now. The mask makes it difficult to breathe and it’s extremely annoying to wear. The mask has also stopped us from seeing each other and what we really look like without a mask on. I can barely understand or even recognize basic facial expressions anymore because the mask has been covering them up. We as a society are losing that social aspect of life. People on campus wore masks with no issue because we needed to if we wanted to actually be in a normal classroom setting to learn. That danger and need is no longer present, therefore the masks are unnecessary. We’d be doing our community a disservice if most schools were to take masks off and we were one of the only school’s in the state to mandate the masks.