Should the mask mandate be lifted in school after Sept. 30 or should it continue to be mandatory? This question continues to float around the minds of Masuk High school students.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 13A mentions when in school, students will wear masks at all times except while eating lunch. Students who do not comply with this expectation will be sent home. Masks must also be worn on the school bus.
Vaccinated students should indeed be given the option to roam the school maskless with the vaccine is safe and will not increase the spread of COVID if gone out without a mask and with the number of COVID cases at a lower number than they were in Dec. 2020 when cases were the highest they ever were in Fairfield Country, where masks were actually necessary.
The FDA says the Pfizer Vaccine is approved and safe, you can assume they put an endless amount of thought and research into ensuring that this recommendation is safe and effective enough to keep students safe and healthy without masks, while also still stopping the spread of COVID-19. The CDC states, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic,”. Masuk students don’t have to worry about the spread of COVID-19 if they are vaccinated, and therefore the mask just acts as protection that you simply don’t need.
“Based on evidence from clinical trials in people 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed infection with the virus that causes COVID-19,” also stated the CDC.
This is surely a fact that puts most vaccinated people at ease. As helpful as masks are, they simply are unnecessary for those who are vaccinated as the vaccine already provides enough protection that one needs. No matter how high the cases may be, we must trust the fact that we are protected and will remain protected, safe, and healthy against the virus.
As most people know, the number of COVID cases has decreased dramatically since last winter. As of right now, Monroe sits at 28 COVID cases per 100,000 people. Back in Dec. of last year, the number of cases daily averaged at around 2,000 cases daily out of the whole Fairfield county. At this time, 67.2% of CT is vaccinated and won’t be dramatically affected by the virus. Since the virus is evidently dying down, it is time for students and staff to go back to what we used to call normal.
Unmasking those who are vaccinated after Sept. 30, is the biggest step we need to take towards normalcy. When asked if vaccinated students should be able to attend school without a mask, Brian Humpal, one of Masuk’s U.S history and law and society teacher stated
“I personally don’t think it’s the smartest idea. Mostly because, I have a child at home who is not vaccinated and is not able to be vaccinated as there is not one available for his age group. Even if I wear mine, there may be people who are unvaccinated who refuse to wear one, or simply can’t get the vaccine due to health reasons, raising my likelihood of contracting the virus and therefore spreading it to my child.”
Humpal did indeed bring up an overlooked point, but he did mention however that he trusts the FDA and CDC’s recommendation to get the vaccine and has mentioned that he has gone out in public maskless in areas where he has felt safe.
“Yes, we’ve been going all summer without them and that was the original plan as promised by the president,” stated Dana Moraneic, one of Masuks’ art teachers.
Moraneic did make a fair point as back in June and July, when most people entered malls, stores, and restaurants maskless, the average number of cases in Fairfield County per day did not exceed 60. Despite the fact that cases may no longer be this low, vaccinated students are protected from the virus and wearing a mask should be a choice for us. Being able to live our lives the way we used to, was the reason why most of us had decided to get this vaccine, and suddenly that promise is being demolished and disregarded. The largest reason why cases may continue to increase is because of those who are carelessly going out maskless while being unvaccinated. Which introduces the solution of students showing their authentic vaccination cards to Masuk prior to entering school maskless.
As established, I believe that vaccinated students should surely be given the option to roam the school maskless, as the vaccine is now authorized by the FDA and the number of COVID cases have incredibly been reduced since the month of December 2020. Schools are thankfully back in session and the time for us to smile at people in halls without a piece of fabric in front of our faces feels as if it’s long overdue. It is time to finally share stories without having to pull a mask up our noses, time for us to return to what we once called normal!