Mask regulations officially changed from “required” to “recommended” on Mon, March 7. Students had differing opinions on this subject, specifically regarding whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.
Junior Lily Petersen stated that she would continue to wear her face covering. “I just feel more comfortable doing it, and I feel like I can’t control what other people do, but I can control what I want to do so I’m just going to keep it on,” Petersen said.
Junior Gillian O’Neil offered a similar explanation as to why she will continue to wear her mask. “I feel more safe for myself, and I’m protecting others around me,” O’Neil said.
Junior Lukas Hilstrom, foreign exchange student, had a differing opinion from that of his classmates. “I’m like for it [no masks] because I’m from Sweden, and we never wore masks there, we’re probably never gonna wear masks there. It’s encroaching on freedom or something, I actually have no idea,” Hilstrom said.
Senior Blaine Agles, who plans to take off his mask after the mandate is changed, said, “I am young enough and healthy enough to not be severely impacted by COVID.” Agles also mentioned that his family members who could be impacted by COVID are all fully vaccinated.
Junior Emma Norton plans to continue wearing her mask. “I am going to [wear a mask] because I do not want to get sick, and I don’t want my mom getting sick,” Norton said.
Senior Ben Pires had a unique answer to the masking question. “I’m not [wearing a mask] because I don’t really have a good reason. I just don’t want to. I will wear it in certain classes though. One of my teachers just got done with chemo, so I’ll wear it in that class,” Pires said.
Senior Gavin Erutti plans to base his decision on the current social norm. “I would say that over time, the norm is to not wear a mask. Then at that point I’ll feel the need to not wear a mask. It’s just this idea that not wearing a mask is the outlier, but socially, if wearing the masks is the outlier, and everything’s safe, then it seems okay to do that, then I’d probably be more confident, but for now, I think so [keep it on],” Erutti said about whether he would continue to wear a mask.
Senior Tristan Archer had a similar statement to that of Erutti. “I don’t wanna be the outlier, right? If everyone’s wearing a mask, and I’m not, I don’t want that. For my own personal family life, I’d choose to wear it because my grandma lives with us. It’s important not to judge either way. I’ll probably continue to wear it,” Archer said.
Senior Jake Koelling agreed with the theme of non-judgement. “No, I do not [plan to wear a mask.] I just prefer not wearing a mask, but I won’t be bothered if other people do. It’s a personal thing,” Koelling said.
This will be Lydia Urice’s second year on ECHO staff. Last year, she was podcast editor, and this year she is junior editor.
This will be Maren DeMargel’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.