The statewide school mask mandate comes to an end

Naomi Lopez

The ongoing mask mandate, originating back from March 2020, has at last been lowered for local schools across the state of California.

On February 28th, the statewide council came upon the decision to lift the mask mandate in California schools starting March 12th. After March 12th, masks will be recommended but optional, as opposed to enforced.

“​I think we’ve entered a new phase of COVID, and it’s time to move ahead,” AP Psychology and CP US History teacher Jennifer Puente said. “While I will likely not be wearing a mask, I recognize that there will be many others who feel more comfortable continuing to wear one.”

The lowering of the mandate has definitely elicited conflicting opinions from both sides of the mask debate, which has been ongoing for a long time since COVID-19 first made itself known. 

 “I am vaccinated​ and take measures to protect myself. If conditions change, I might decide to mask up again and will certainly be respectful in situations with others,” said Puente.

Now, the other side of the debate is shown through those who will continue to wear their masks after the mandate is lifted. Despite the state’s conclusion, the virus will not be gone after March 12th. There is still a high risk of contracting the virus, especially if many conclude to remain unmasked. It is a risk that some are willing to take, but others are not.

My family is highly susceptible, and they work with people who are also in that sphere. I wouldn’t want to risk endangering anyone,” senior Julie Teater said. “I personally don’t want the mandate to be lifted, but even if it is, I would not protest solely because the decisions of others are not mine to make, even if I think this risk is foolish. Either way, I’m still going to wear my mask post-lift.”

There are two sides that are often considered in this debate, however, there are also those who are indifferent to the controversy behind wearing a mask or not.

I don’t really care about what people choose,” senior Eydan Braceros said. “It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as people know what they’re doing when they make their choice about wearing their masks. I know that I’m gonna keep wearing my mask, so I should be safe.”

The lifting of the mask mandate has left California citizens with a choice. There are ups and downs to both decisions, but what ultimately matters is that people take the measures to ensure the safety of themselves and others around them.

“I hope we all are respectful of the variations in comfort levels with the new policy,” Mrs. Puente said. “Each of us has our own reason for masking or not.”