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Masks at School: Will it Work?

Returning to school with HyFlex Learning brings upon students and faculty a great challenge: masks on, all day, everyday. In order to return to school safely, we must abide by this requirement. But with such a new idea for student use, many questions have been left unanswered. I spoke with Christian Brothers’ dean Mrs. Cecelia […]

Returning to school with HyFlex Learning brings upon students and faculty a great challenge: masks on, all day, everyday. In order to return to school safely, we must abide by this requirement.

But with such a new idea for student use, many questions have been left unanswered. I spoke with Christian Brothers’ dean Mrs. Cecelia Powers about how wearing masks will affect lunch times, dress code, and consequences. 

“I am hopeful students will recognize wearing masks will allow us to be together,” she says. “If students are not following regulation, they put us at risk for our health as well as our school no longer being face to face.”

Although the official consequences for not wearing masks has not been decided, she expects that CB staff will be serious about regulation and consequences. As for dress code, we expect to see some flexibility. It will be similar to the dance dress code guidelines. No inappropriate messages, politics, drugs, controversial statements, etc. on masks will be tolerated.

But how do students feel about the mask requirement?

Giovanni Munoz (‘22) is eager to return to school with masks on, even if they are hot and uncomfortable. We both agreed that it is a small price to pay and most definitely worth the annoyance if it means returning to school with our friends. 

“I mean it’s not that bad,” Giovanni says.

The biggest issue will be having to listen and talk to each other since the masks muffles our voices. But wearing them may have benefits of their own, besides obvious health reasons.

As a teenager, I understand the desire of not wanting to show your face at school each day. Wearing a mask could be helpful to those insecure about their looks. I asked Giovanni how he felt about the mask covering more than half of his face when he leaves his house.

“Oh, I don’t mind — my eyes are the moneymakers anyway,” he explains.

He plans to color coordinate his masks, and help himself stand out. Not only does his optimistic mindset help himself feel ready to return to school, it ensures safety to his peers.

Despite students and teachers being excited to return to on-campus learning, medical professionals are reluctant to allow us to return. Registered nurse Jinky Gueco and mother of CB student Sofia Antido (’22) is weary about CB students returning in the near future. She claims that us young students are more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to our mask habits, hygiene, and susceptibility to the virus. Although likelihood varies person to person, she asks us to be cautious and considerate when we return to school in order to contain the virus. 

“We should be educating our children on proper hand washing as well as enforcing strict social distancing to protect our families when they come home from school.” she explains.

Christian Brothers students must collectively agree to abiding by social distancing and mask wearing because each student has a family to come home to and friends who love them. Keeping each other healthy is vital to our close community.

Mrs. Powers agrees, saying that “masks will make a big difference. I am not looking forward to it, but I want to stay healthy.”

Without question, wearing masks is the right thing to do if we want to return to on campus learning. It is up to us students as well as teachers and faculty to make this a reality.

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