Covid-19 Mask Mandate Changes

Covid-19 Mask Mandate Changes

Jasmine Pajares, Contributer

Ever since the pandemic hit, wearing masks has been a controversial topic. At the beginning of the school year, Broward County Public Schools, along with 11 other school districts in Florida, issued a mask wearing mandate for all students. Now they’ve changed their mask policy, and beginning November 1st, masks will be optional for all high school students in BCPS.


Regardless of the dangers of not wearing a mask, I will not be wearing my mask during school. I have Type 1 Diabetes, and as an immunocompromised person I’m part of the highest population that can contract Covid-19 easily. It is highly recommended for me to use a mask, but because I find it difficult to breathe, I will not be using the mask during school. I will be taking all other precautions like washing my hands frequently and avoiding touching my face. I am also fully vaccinated and soon I’ll have my booster shot as well.


According to the CDC, the outcomes of mask wearing include “reducing exposure among individuals, reducing transmission, and reducing the burden on the healthcare system.”


It’s a great step we’re taking towards going back to pre-pandemic norms. Being able to take off our masks during school hours is something a lot of students are looking forward to, including me. The new mask mandate couldn’t have come during a better time with homecoming being right around the corner. Students will be able to show off their outfits or simply be able to breathe easier.


Speaking of expressing themselves, everyone will now be able to smile and make facial expressions at each other without wondering if they’re sticking their tongue out or smiling. Reading body language will now be complete with facial expressions, we will be much less confused by it. We’ll be able to whisper things without forgetting that nobody can read our lips because our masks are covering our mouths.


That’s especially important for P.E. with the mask mandate we were only allowed to take our masks off if the class was outside. If we were indoors, we would still have to wear masks even if we were exercising. I can say from experience that even if we are inside playing volleyball or basketball, it would be close to impossible to get the full benefit of oxygen. I can understand wearing a mask indoors if you aren’t running around being physically active, and instead are sitting on the bleachers.


The lifting of the mask mandate will also be helpful for teachers. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint which student is speaking from beyond the muffled mask, so now students will be able to pull down their masks to speak and express themselves.


I do understand those who would like to keep their masks on. There are many immunocompromised students, teachers, and staff, who can’t risk getting Covid, so they will be keeping their masks on regardless of the mandate or not.


Even though I’ve been longing for the day when I would no longer have to wear a mask, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t live with the constant paranoia of getting Covid, especially considering my diabetes. So instead, I wash my hands constantly. Wearing a mask helps, but it’s not guaranteed. I know a woman who was so anxious about getting covid that she would clean anything and everything, and wore her mask religiously. But despite all of that, she got Covid anyway. So ultimately, especially with the latest Omicron variant, we’re all going to get it anyway