Mask Mandate Dilemma

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The mask mandate may have been lifted, but masks are still an everyday part of life (photo by O. LeBlanc).

Olivia Leblanc, Staff Writer

Around a week ago, Johnson County struck down the mandate on masks, allowing businesses and companies to make the decision about whether they would be requiring masks or not. Of course many schools – if not all – still required masks in the buildings as if no change had occurred. As cut and dry as this may seem, others see this lifted mask mandate as the end of COVID-19. 

It was only a few days after the mandate had been lifted that I walked past some students not wearing masks (not to be confused with them wearing masks incorrectly). They just weren’t wearing masks at all, not a mask in sight. Ironically, the two students were talking about why they weren’t wearing masks. The two were saying something along the lines of “The mask mandate was lifted, we don’t need masks anymore, they can’t make me wear one anyways.” 

Many things immediately ran through my mind, like “I mean they kind of can make you wear your mask” and “just because the mandate was lifted doesn’t mean all has been solved.” I tried not to worry about it too much because in the end it really isn’t my business, yet it was in a way. I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is decreasing in cases and more people continue to get vaccinated every day. However, it’s not over yet, people are still diagnosed with COVID-19 and not everyone is 100% immune to it. I believe that the smallest things we can do to prevent the spread, no matter how much better it has gotten, is worth it. I know many people are excited to no longer wear masks, and I as well am quite excited, but I don’t think now is the time to drop all of the precautions. I personally will continue to optionally wear a mask in places for two reasons: one, COVID-19 isn’t 100% cured and gone, and two, I want to respect those who still have loved ones that are compromised or want to stay as safe as possible. Of course, in the end, this is all just my opinion and plan.

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