MCPS lifts mask mandate: Why or why not wear a mask?

Signs reminding patrons of the mask optional policy have been posted outside of many businesses.

Image used with permission from Google Commons

Signs reminding patrons of the mask optional policy have been posted outside of many businesses.

In the middle of March, the mask mandate was lifted, making their use optional. Because of this, there is a split in people who do and do not wear masks. 

The number of Covid cases has gone down and the vaccination status has gone up, making some students and staff feel safe enough to take off their masks . English teacher Emily Davis said, “Since my family and I have all been vaccinated, I feel comfortable removing my mask at school. I try to pay attention to the current Covid numbers and the recommendations from the scientific community.  Because of that, my family and I all test weekly, and we wear our masks in many other public settings.”

Although the number of cases has gone down, there are students and staff who feel it is still too risky to take off their mask. Freshman Shahzad Ahmed said, “I choose to keep wearing a mask because there is currently a ravaging global pandemic consuming and infecting millions of people around the world, and with wearing my mask I am protecting myself from receiving the disease, as well as protecting others from receiving the disease from myself.”

Lifting the mask mandate has given people their own judgment call. Ahmed said, “I believe the mask mandate should have been lifted in order to give students an opportunity to have the freedom to wear or not wear a mask on school grounds.”

Since there is a possibility that the number of Covid cases will go up again, students may believe that the mask mandate should be enforced again if needed. Sophomore Jane Lee said, “When the numbers become high, they should mandate the mask, allowing the numbers to reduce. When the numbers become lower, they can lift the mandate.”

Even though there are still Covid cases in Montgomery County, data showing the amount of Covid cases in the County has decreased significantly this month as opposed to the amount of cases in Mar.  Lee said, “I still choose to wear a mask until the end of the year because although the majority of us have been vaccinated, there’s still a risk of getting Covid.”