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How Do You Feel About Masks Being Optional?

By: Harley Semon and Grace Katz

On Wednesday, March 2nd, the mask mandate for New York public schools was lifted by Governor Kathy Hochul. Since then, students have been wary on whether they should unmask. Many students were overjoyed with the elimination of the mandate, while others were left feeling uncomfortable. After wearing masks for nearly two years, many students feel awkward without one on. Today we interviewed two students in the High School East community to get their opinions on the matter.

Student 1:

Student 1 expressed that they were very happy that the mask mandate was lifted, though they made it clear that they still respect the decisions of others that decide to keep them on. One thing they said was that they were more than happy to see the “face reveals” of many of their peers. The student also stated that they can now better communicate with their teachers  because they do not have the barrier of a mask.“I am happy to finally be returning back to normalcy in school. I believe that this will allow my learning and communication to improve. I hope that we stay mask optional while continuing to be safe!”

Student 2:

Student 2 opted to continue to wear their mask. They also expressed that they respect the decisions of those who have removed their masks, but at the moment they just feel more comfortable wearing one. The student said that because they visit their grandparents very often, they want to do “everything and anything they can to keep them safe”. This student actually felt that the “mask was never really a bother” and they don’t think it has a drastic effect on their communication skills.