Student Opinions: Thoughts on masking


The Pros on masking

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and can be life threatening. According to Medical News Today,  COVID-19, if untreated, can lead to serious and sometimes fatal health complications such as Pneumonia, Arrhythmia, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Sepsis, and damage to organs. Due to COVID-19, there was a global quarantine in the early months of 2020 to try to stop the mass spread. The world was longing to go back to life during the global pandemic, and scientist Peter Tsai found a temporary solution. 

One way to not be exposed COVID-19 is to socially-distance six feet from one another. Tsai knew that it would have been impossible to socially distance from everyone while doing everyday tasks, so he developed the idea of face masks. A face mask is a cloth that is worn over a person’s nose and mouth, and is typically worn indoors, but can also be required to wear at some outdoor events. Masks are essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and must continue to be worn until it is no longer necessary. 

Masks are 92% preventable of COVID-19 if worn correctly, and washed regularly, and according to AARP, “the primary way coronavirus spreads is from person to person by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.” 

Masks are designed to act as a barrier by blocking your nose and mouth to keep your germs from spreading. So in times where you can’t maintain the six feet of distance, you can still be protected from germs.

Yes, breathing through a mask may take some time to get used to, but it’s totally possible. Masks are thin enough for carbon dioxide and oxygen to pass through, and yet still thick enough for viruses not to. The only scientifically reputable concern with this is that carbon dioxide will build up overtime, which is why masks should be washed after each time they are worn.  

Masks can also help the economy recover. A report by Goldman Sachs says, “that would otherwise subtract nearly five percent from GDP [gross domestic product].” Due to the mask mandate, the COVID-19 spread was decreased across the United States, which allowed them to reopen their economies quicker. According to Small Business, “businesses pay a significant portion of all taxes in the United States, including income tax, property tax, and employment tax. Having more businesses in the local economy can boost tax income for local governments, bringing in more money to repair roads, develop schools, and improve public services.”

 When the country was under mask mandates and quarantines, people weren’t out more in the big cities. Due to the lack of public transportation, air pollution decreased. According to CNN, in April of 2020, people in India were able to see the Himalayas, due to the steep decline of air pollution due to the masks and lockdown procedures.

With masks, you can get back to normal life. At Bellefonte Area High School we are able to attend school, have school dances, and attend indoor sports while wearing masks. Without the masks, everyone would have to maintain six feet of distance, as well as be more prone to quarantine and contraction of COVID-19, and these things all have a significant negative impact, more so than having to wear a piece of cloth on your face. 

We may not know how much longer we may have to continue to wear masks, but one thing for sure is that it is a well-working temporary solution until concerns regarding COVID-19 decrease. 


The cons of masking

Many kids’ high school careers have been negatively impacted by  the COVID-19 pandemic, and wearing a mask is not doing anything to help. Masks should not be mandated for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, masks are very difficult to breathe in and are a distraction to learning. As a two-sport athlete and a student, it is harder to breathe while wearing a mask. In schools in Pennsylvania, all students, even those with the vaccine, are still required to wear a mask. Is there a  point of the vaccine then? As a student, it also makes it harder to learn. Students can’t focus on school because they are always more focused on their mask. Wearing masks is uncomfortably hot and that makes it  much harder to pay attention to what they’re really at school for. 

Additionally, the vaccine was supposed to let people be free of masks and mandate. People and kids in school still have to wear masks even if they are vaccinated. The flu cases have decreased because of doctors saying it is actually COVID. The deaths caused by the flu went down a significant amount as soon as deaths from COVID went up.  According to USA Today, in the 19-20 season “more than 38 million people in the US became sick with influenza and nearly 22 000 of them died, the CDC estimates.” But also according to USA Today,Public health and clinical laboratories reported 2,038 flu cases during the season from Sept. 27, 2020, to April 24, 2021.” This shows that the flu cases dropped an insane amount ever since COVID. It is not based on a whole year but you can tell that we were not going to reach more than 38 million cases in those last 4 months that were not recorded.

The people have the right to do whatever they want to their own body. The government is making us put a mask on our face without consent. According to the Constitution, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The 14th amendment states that the citizens of the United States should and have the right to do what they want including wearing a mask or not. Our bodies are the only thing that we have complete control over in the world. If someone wears a mask, it’s their right. If someone does not wear a mask, it is also their right. Either way the people should have complete control over their own bodies.