Masks have taken over the Alta High School hallways and classrooms. They are what makes school possible during this pandemic. Though they have posed new challenges to both teachers and students, as students are learning to adapt to this new normal.
There were some doubts with how diligent students would be about wearing masks. Mrs. Ferguson stated, “I have been very impressed with the way students have been keeping their masks on”. Mr. Thomas has only noticed a few people’s masks slipping past their nose, wether that be on accident or so they can breathe. For the most part, however, masks have stayed on. A big part of that is the hall monitors and teachers making sure that everyone’s mask is adequately covering students’ mouths and noses.
Jane Wetzel added that “Masks are an adjustment and will take some time to get used to”.
After around five months of isolation, wearing masks is new to many people. Mr. Thomas explained that wearing a mask for six to seven hours a day has been difficult. “There is a difficulty,” Mr. Thomas said, “I sometimes can’t hear and have to ask students to repeat themselves’ multiple times.”
Although there are some challenges, masks are necessary. The CDC has issued several statements stressing the importance of masks in slowing the spread of the virus.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19, cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield emphasized “particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
It appears as though the mask phenomenon won’t be going away any time soon, so everyone may as well have a little bit of fun with their masks. Most people have a selection of masks at home. Jane Wetzel believes she has around 20 masks, while Valerie Dawson has around ten. Many students and faculty are wearing patterned and colorful masks to add a little bit of light to these uncertain times.
Comfort is key with masks. It is miserable to wear an uncomfortable mask for six to seven hours everyday. Everyone has different opinions as to what the most comfortable mask is. Jane Wetzel is fond of the masks that tie in the back because you can adjust how tight they are. Valerie Dawson likes the simple black, cloth masks that go around your ears. She claims that they are the most breathable, while Mrs. Ferguson prefers the disposable masks because she finds them the easiest to breath and teach in.