Masks: It’s Like 2020 All Over Again!

Students have trouble masking their feelings about the mask mandate.


Amanya Gonzales, Editor-in-Chief

“It wasn’t even on the agenda…they put it on there half way through,”notes Mrs. Kristen Baker.

This past month the Elkhart School Board held a meeting to decide their stance on mask mandates. Some may call these masks just slightly annoying; others, a burden far too much to handle. With so much back and forth going on, the Board finally decided to place a mask mandate in effect, citing “safety” as their primary objective. At the time, this ruling came as a surprise to not only students but to teachers, as well. 

A month into the mandate, and it feels like 2020 all over again. Contact tracing is being conducted again through seating charts. If, however, a student does come into close contact with a COVID-19 patient, he or she will be allowed to come to school, so long as he or she wears a mask and has no symptoms showing.

Sophomore Emily Eli, a COVID survivor, weighs in: “I had COVID a long time ago and still deal with the effects today. Because of COVID,” she continues, “my sense of taste and smell has been completely distorted–nothing tastes the same anymore, and it can be frustrating.” Far more frustrating than losing her sense of smell is what she learned from her physicians. “The doctors told me because of how long my symptoms lasted, there was a chance I could have tumors. They didn’t find one,” Eli adds with relief, “but still, it really affected my life.” For this reason, Eli is not at all bothered by the mandate to wear a mask. “If you’re not vaccinated and don’t wear masks, it upsets me,” she admits. “It’s either wear a mask or get vaccinated.”

Yet, even with the vaccine, there have been break-out cases among those vaccinated. The risk is still there, but the medical world assures the public that the vaccine does offer some protection against the virus. While many students at EHS have been vaccinated, the school district still believes that even they must follow the mandate. With this in mind, there are a few loopholes: If one is six feet away from others, he or she may take down his or her mask; during passing periods outside, students don’t have to have masks on; and during lunch masks, are not required when eating.

While many continue to have mixed feelings about the mandate, it is set in stone as of now. Following the mandate may seem harsh to some, but it was set with the intent to slow the spread of COVID and offer safe learning environments.