The halls are crowded as students walk in, seeing their friends from the other half of the alphabet for the first time in almost a year. Spirits are high until they walk into class and see students with their masks down, not wearing the mask properly, or not wearing them at all. This is a normal occurrence for many students and teachers, especially since MCHS started their 5-day a week hybrid schedule.
After students returned to school five days a week after spring break, there was a 174% increase in reports of students not wearing their masks correctly, according to MCHS administration. Staff and administration have been put onto the duty of making sure students are keeping themselves and others safe by wearing their masks properly. Most teachers have found that students are wearing their masks correctly.
West social science teacher Chris Madson has found, “Students in class have been great about wearing their masks. I have had zero issues with this in any of my classes.”
As a general consensus teachers don’t see the problem in their classrooms, but many students do find that their classmates are not being fully compliant. Often it is found especially in the hallways that students are not wearing their masks properly.
Junior Kilea McCants finds that every day there are more students not wearing their masks properly. Even though it is a slightly more common sight in the hallways, there are still teachers that do not always tell students when their mask is slipping down or when they take off the mask fully. “Coming into the full school plan we were told they [teachers and administration] would be strict on things like this, and they haven’t been at all.”
Though students are the ones who commonly see their peers without masks, the dean Mr. Peter Byrne has also seen an influx of students not wearing masks properly.“I don’t know any students who don’t wear their masks [at all],” Byrne states. “It’s usually just that the mask slips below their nose, and then it’s just a multiple reminder thing.”
Majority of the students, though. are continually wearing their masks correctly. And Byrne consistently sees students wearing their masks correctly and staying six feet apart. Other teachers are also quick to notice similar things that Byrne has also noticed.
“I really don’t have much of an issue with students wearing their masks incorrectly. Once in a while I will have to tell them to put it on their nose but maybe only a handful of times. They are always respectful about it and it has never been a big deal,” says Therodora Davis, the Assistant Divisional Chair for PE/Health at East.
The CDC has advised schools to keep students at least three feet apart at all times instead of the previous six foot rule. Masks are still mandatory, unless students are outside and keeping three feet away. Vaccinated individuals can meet outside unmasked unless they are in a crowd.
Students not wearing their masks may be more common now that they have come back to school full time. They may seem unnecessary to some but, in reality, they are what is protecting the students as well as their families for a virus that has killed millions of people around the world.
The pandemic is not something that only affects one person, this pandemic is going to have a lasting effect on the whole world. Following the CDC guidelines is the only way for the world to go semi-back to normal.