Lifting the mask mandate provides a breath of fresh air

Masks, the symbol of the pandemic. The imminent end of most mandates signals a return to normality.

Sarah Marron ’24

Masks, the symbol of the pandemic. The imminent end of most mandates signals a return to normality.

In a few weeks, the world will have lived through two full years of the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has killed around 920,000 people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has disrupted the lives of billions around the world. We experienced the pandemic without a vaccine until November 2020, when it was first released to the oldest age groups before coming out in waves for younger Americans. Since then, large percentages of the population have become vaccinated. Therefore, the time has finally come to end the mask mandate.

Masks can range from effective to ineffective, depending on how it is secured on the face. When worn in a loose fashion, as is the case with many Staples students, the CDC found that a mask protected the wearer from only 7.5% of the particles generated by a cough. However, with the high number of vaccinated individuals in Connecticut, along with the overall lack of proper mask wearing in the first place, the lift of the mask mandate will be a welcome, positive change in every day life.

During the entire duration of the pandemic, government officials have been very poor in communicating the need to wear masks. Initially, during a shortage of masks, officials feared that the scarcity would penalize health care workers, thus they discouraged the over-purchasing of masks. According to the World Health Organization, shortages of masks, due to a surge in purchases by the public, left frontline workers ill-equipped to attend to Covid-19 patients, due to the limited access to supplies. However, after this shortage was properly taken care of, masks were mandated across the country.

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, subsequently admitted that the initial policy to not purchase masks was driven not by science, but by logistics, in an attempt to make sure that general citizens did not take the masks away from healthcare workers. This shading of the truth ultimately resulted in a lot of cynicism in the average citizen.

The end of the mask mandate enables you to make the personal choice to wear a mask or not. I believe every person has the right to their choice, whatever it might be.”

— Sarah Marron ’24

Many groups of people have been very frustrated for two years living with Covid-19. There has been a lot of controversy about wearing masks, whether they prevent the spread of disease or whether they are effective in properly protecting us. 

Recently seen during the Superbowl on Feb. 13, few of the 70,000 attendees at the game were seen wearing masks. Broadcasted across television and social media, all of the celebrities and government officials attending the game not wearing masks at all. As many people across the country are relaxing their mask wearing, it should be Connecticut’s turn to ease their mandates as well.

With more widespread vaccination and herd immunity, the political consensus, shown by the lifting of the mask mandates, is that the time has come to relax the mask requirements.

Importantly, ending the mask mandate does not mean you can’t still wear a mask. The end of the mask mandate enables you to make the personal choice to wear a mask or not. I believe every person has the right to their choice, whatever it might be. If you choose to wear a mask, it definitely has its positives when worn correctly. Ultimately, you are still free to make the personal choice to wear a mask, if you are uncomfortable with the mask mandates ending.

The end of mask mandates is certainly a breath of fresh air, and is very appreciated by children, young adults, and older people as we try to get back to a normal existence.