The debate over wearing masks


Cyrus Mitchell

Masks are enforced daily at all AISD events and campuses for safety purposes.

Viviana Lopez-Stern, J1 Reporter

Masks should be worn and enforced at Bowie. They should not only be required, but also, more effort needs to be made in order to ensure all students are wearing a mask the right way. 

Studies from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) state that “public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high,” and studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that “use of face coverings … was associated with a 70% reduced risk,” of catching Covid -19. These studies make it easy to see why I was upset, to put it mildly, at the lack of masks being worn correctly here at Bowie.

Every day I come to school, I am overwhelmed by the most recent fad of wearing masks under noses that many students (more specifically high school boys) have taken to. This variation of wearing a mask is simply not effective because the purpose of wearing a mask is to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets which exist in both the nose and mouth. 

Choosing not to wear your mask correctly allows for the spreading of these respiratory droplets, and is a dangerous choice, but it also makes a statement; that you, as a student, lack care for the students around you, and you do not value their right to life. 

As a person who had to experience quarantine, I had to make sacrifices, and many students are still making sacrifices because of ignorant people who won’t wear a mask correctly. 

I encourage you to put yourself in the shoes of students who have health impacts which make them more vulnerable to Covid-19. Every time you choose to not wear a mask you are disregarding these lives, saying they don’t matter. You are dismissing all of the people who have suffered or perished because of this horrific virus, and simply ignoring all of the tragedy that this disease has brought; saying it does not exist. Think about how that makes people who have experienced these tragedies, first hand, feel. 

We must keep in mind that masking is most effective when large quantities of people wear a mask, and it’s still possible for students to carry and spread the virus even if they are not experiencing symptoms, therefore the most effective way to reduce the spreading  of the Coronavirus is for all students and teachers to wear masks at all times, and for school administrators to do a better job of enforcing this. 

I want to leave you with this. We have all had personal experiences with someone close to us catching this virus. But not everyone knows the pain of seeing someone they love so much suffer so badly. This virus can have lasting impacts on people that may never go away. 

You have been given the choice to protect yourself and others. You get the choice to be kind and aware of the situations of others. You get the choice to value human lives over how others perceive you.You get to choose knowledge over ignorance, and love over hate. 

I’ve already made my choice. And I hope that you too, choose wisely.