By Ari Hanuschik
Scientists say that masks help protect us from COVID-19 and that wearing them in schools and public places helps to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, I decided to get the students’ perspectives and opinions on the matter. I interviewed high school students – male and female, young and old. Many agree, in varying ways, that masks are a hindrance and that they will be overjoyed when the day comes where we don’t have to wear masks anymore.
One senior said, “They kinda suck, but I’m willing to wear them if they are protecting people with declining health.” Another senior acknowledged masks as the new normal and that after a while, she has become used to having to wear a mask. When I asked students what bothered them about wearing masks, plenty of them said that the masks make their faces itch, increase acne, and heat up, in addition to the bands that hurt their ears. Although masks are annoying, many students understand the reason why they have to wear them.
A freshman said, “Masks don’t bother me because I’m keeping other people safe.” Another student said that he understands and respects why the rule is there. A freshman explained that her sister got COVID-19, giving her family a bit of a scare. Although her sister is better now, she said that she had gained a better understanding of the coronavirus and the need to wear masks to protect their loved ones. So although joking about COVID-19 has become a common thing around schools, the coronavirus is serious. It affects some people on a deeper and more personal level than others, therefore we should all take COVID-19 seriously. Students believe that if we all do our part by wearing masks, the sooner the pandemic will end.
Masks play a big part in today’s “new normal,” but masks are not the only thing that has affected students and people all over the world during the pandemic. Online school has also played a huge part in affecting students. One student said that online school was not hard and that she could now go ahead in schoolwork if she wanted to. Another student, a freshman, said that online classes were hard, with many teachers making it more confusing than it needed to be. This response was the most common among students.
When asked if they ever had to go back to online school, would they? The answer was no. Online classes created so much stress and frustration that was hard for students to stay positive during online school. A lot of students thrive in social interactions, and it was difficult for that to be taken away from them. Some students said that online school was very hard — up to the point that it created an emotionally unhealthy state for them.
These times are hard, but keep holding on. There is light at the end of the tunnel, love will heal the broken hearts, and the sun will shine brighter than it ever has before. Stay strong, Cedar Reds!
(photo via creative commons)