How the Outdoor Mask Mandate being Lifted Affects Your Future
On Tuesday, February 22, L.A. County allowed schools to lift their outdoor mask mandate, following the steadily dropping amount of COVID-19 cases. With this mandate in effect, many wonder whether this can bring changing news for the future. As L.A. county continues to lift COVID-19 protocols, the possibility of not wearing masks at all is an option now, however Gahr students feel hesitant about this new change.
In ABC Unified School District, students are allowed to not wear masks when outdoors, signifying the first new change in lifting COVID-19 protocols. This allows students to socially interact with others without a mask. Many feel satisfied with not having to wear a mask outdoors, but when asked about the indoor mask mandate, their opinions differ.
The Forum’s poll on 20 Gahr students demonstrated that 83.3% of the participating students shared the opinion that the indoor mask mandate should remain for the rest of the school year. When asked about no longer being required to wear a mask, a student who wished to remain anonymous expressed, “I don't mind. I think it really depends on the person. I personally always have my mask on for safety purposes both inside and outside, but if others want to take their mask off outside, it's their choice.”
Many believe the lift of the outdoor mask mandate is not a big controversy. However, towards the progress of the pandemic, a student described their concerns, “We are living in the middle of a pandemic and instead of trying to fully get over it, we decide to act hastefully and not wait to fully let us heal.”
No longer wearing masks outdoors brings hope to no longer having to wear masks indoors, as L.A. county has recently lifted the indoor mask mandate, but school districts have the final decision on whether or not to lift the mandate. As of now, according to various Gahr teachers, ABC Unified is still deciding what to do and will release their decision in the upcoming weeks. If the mandate does get lifted within the district, students will still have the option to wear masks or not as the majority (over 80% according to the Forum’s poll) want to play it safe and wait a bit more to ensure cases won’t start to increase once again.