Graphic by Desteny Casanova
Richmond Community Schools has made the decision to make masks optional. They received word last Friday and told everyone the news.
This has brought surprise, happiness, and anger to many members of the community as well as students.
“I think it has a good and a bad side,” senior Darius Hogg said. “Obvious science behind masks prove that they help people stay safe and not sick. On the flip side, it’s nice to see everyone’s face. We can breathe a little better.
“I think people are getting tired of masks and to be honest, we’re going to be in the pandemic for a while longer. I do think it’s about time people should choose if someone wears it or not.”
Meanwhile, others don’t believe it should be optional.
“I feel a bit anxious,” senior Molly Gard. “I feel like [optional masks are] going to end soon simply because I feel like COVID is going to spread again. It’s strange to see people’s faces, but it’s an interesting aspect of it. There are people that have never seen others’ faces up until today.”
The news has brought joy to others though.
“I believe that the mask requirement being lifted was a good thing,” sophomore Zander Inderstrodt said. “COVID will most likely always be something we have around and something that we have to worry about whether we like it or not.
“After two years of being careful and some people being scared of this virus, I believe that it is time to start opening everything back up. Start heading towards that ‘new normal’ that everyone has been talking about.”
Along with people worrying about health, there were other worries as well.
“As far as my concerns go I don’t really have many,” Inderstrodt said. “The thing I was worried about most was if people were going to be judging or harassing others for wearing or not wearing a mask. At this point, after two days I haven’t really seen any of that.”
Although the news was told last Friday, they postponed making masks optional Monday night. This caused an uproar among the community.
“I feel like they should have been more organized,” Hogg said. “I feel like there wasn’t a lot of communication and people were left out of the loop. It just went back and forth. I feel like that was unprofessional.”
Tuesday before school that morning, they said that masks are now optional again.
“Although the school did make a lot of people mad, just about every person in the school district, they were able to fix it and remove the mandate last second,” sophomore Inderstrodt said.
It’s key to note that many people have different opinions and views, but it’s important to stay united as a community.
“Everyone’s happiness should come first and after that, we should prioritize health,” Hogg said. “I think that you should wear masks if it’s crowded to keep yourself and others safe. If you’re by yourself there is no need to wear a mask in my opinion.”