Face Masks Optional


Giuliana DePaola, Junior High Staff Writer

It has officially been two years since the COVID-19 shutdown and America is taking more and more steps towards normalcy. Masks have become optional in New York, and while many people are ecstatic, others are reluctant about removing their masks. This is seen both inside and outside the walls of FPM, as you can see students and staff either wearing or not wearing face masks. Personally, I have decided to take my mask off for the remainder of the school year. Along with many other people, I was conflicted about removing masks after all this time.

Many people chose to take their masks off for functional and personal purposes. Masks make it harder to understand people, because you can’t see their lips moving. This impacts smaller children tremendously, since people learn to speak by watching and hearing others. People with glasses also face challenges. Breathing with a mask causes foggy lenses to the point where you have to take off your glasses and clean them. Additionally, it is difficult to breathe with something covering your nose and mouth, especially in large crowds. For these reasons, many people were thrilled to say goodbye to their face masks and return to life before the pandemic.

While some people chose to take off masks, others preferred to keep them on. With no masks, there is an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Many people aren’t willing to take chances when it comes to COVID, especially those who are high-risk or live with someone with preexisting health conditions. There are also many people who aren’t vaccinated. These people might not feel comfortable taking off their masks because of their increased chances of getting COVID. You never know what someone’s dealing with in regards to health, and some people find it beneficial to wear face masks.

No matter what the reason is, wearing a mask is an entirely personal choice. Everyone has a right to do what makes them comfortable without judgement, and we should all respect each other, no matter our opinions on masks. Returning to normalcy might look different for some, and while some people want to go back to normal as quickly as possible, others might prefer taking things slowly. We can’t make everyone agree to combat COVID the same way, but we are at least allowed to choose what we want to do with our lives.