Should the Mask Mandate Have Been Lifted?

Saylor Jones, reporter

On Friday, February 11th at 12:00 a.m., the mask mandate in Nevada was lifted. Many people support this decision because they are ready to move on from this chapter of their lives, while many others feel it may be too soon.

Masks have been a regular part of our lives for almost 2 years now. They have kept us and others around us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s safe to say that most people have become pretty used to them.

On January 13th, CCSD students took a 5-day break from school because there were too many cases in both our teacher and student populations. Now, just a month later, we no longer have to wear masks at school or anywhere else.

To many, this seems like too soon. In Nevada, there is an average of 1,021 cases and 25 deaths per day as of February 14th. In Las Vegas alone, the average daily case count is 572 and average daily death count is 21 as of Feb. 14. Clearly, the issue hasn’t gone away yet, so is it really a good idea to completely leave our masks behind?

Although cases certainly aren't going away, they have decreased dramatically since the spike in cases we had at the end of January. On January 24, 2022, there were 15,838 new cases reported in Nevada, and now that number has decreased by approximately 93.5% in just 3 weeks. Also, there are many studies that have proven that masks aren’t quite as effective as people seem to think they are, especially when worn for long periods of time.

Throughout WCTA, there have been differing opinions on the mask mandate being lifted.

Freshman Asha Sedlock stated, “The cases of COVID-19 are gradually declining, and I feel like there's no need to wear masks anymore…I did everything right, I wore my mask, I socially distanced, and I washed my hands, yet I still got COVID.”

Sophomore Angelina Pezzi, on the other hand, said, “I live with elderly people and people with underlying conditions. It is hard enough to come to school before when there was a mask mandate and now with no mandate it is more difficult.”

At the end of the day, people are always going to have differing opinions on this issue. There is plenty of evidence on both sides of the argument to support why masks should or shouldn’t still be worn.

All in all, it is our job as peers to respect other people’s decisions and opinions on the issue.

Sophomore Paula Tellez decides to wear her mask to school after the mask mandate has been lifted.

Photo Credit: Saylor Jones

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