Face to Face

NASH students are determining where they stand on the public mask wearing debate.

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photo by Anthony Durzo

While some students are ready to pitch their masks, others aren’t so sure.

Anthony Durzo, Staff Writer

It is that point in the road to recovery where fully vaccinated people are ditching the masks, leaving many excited to get back to their regular life like they remember.

“All of us are tired of wearing a mask. It’s just time we finally break free from government control,” NASH junior Jacob King said. 

The newest mask guidance announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that any citizen who is fully vaccinated– meaning they received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination and have waited two weeks– are now allowed to enter certain public places without masks.

“I am happy to not have to wear a mask in some places now that I am fully vaccinated, but I am still willing to wear one in places where they are still required,” senior Ar Verma said.

Businesses and institutions have taken differing stances on the matter. Even North Allegheny was quick to change their regulations at first. An email was sent out to parents last Sunday night announcing that starting Wednesday, May 17th, fully vaccinated students will not be required to wear masks on school premises.

Just a day later, the district took back their announcement after the CDC recommended that COVID-related precautions should remain in place in schools.

I am fully vaccinated, but I am still willing to wear one in places where they are still required.”

— Ar Verma, senior

“It’s more of a social issue for me. If more people are not wearing masks, I probably won’t wear mine. But if more people are uncomfortable, I will keep mine on.” senior Réka Götz said.   

Some students were relieved that the mask mandate was here to stay. 

“I want to be sure that if I ever were to get the virus, I can prevent myself from spreading it to others in every way I possibly can,” junior Morgan Nash said.

But things seem to be trending upward at NASH. The school’s number of positive cases are finally at zero.

“We have not had a single positive case at NASH in the past two weeks,” NASH nurse Mrs. Stamp said.

According to Stamp, the case numbers in March and April have dropped drastically. This, perhaps, could be the result of increasing the number of vaccines being given to students, combined with the number of people who have developed immunity to the virus from previous infections.

“Continued district mitigation efforts, as well as students being given the option to shift to remote learning for spring sports and events like the prom, likely helped in the overall decline in cases,” Stamp added.

On Wednesday, May 5th, NASH held a vaccination clinic at the Baierl Center where 117 students received their first dose. Those same students will return to the Baierl Center for their second dose on May 26th.

I think our focus should be to do whatever we can as individuals to protect the lives of those who are at a higher risk with the virus currently.”

— Morgan Nash, junior

NASH junior Sam Donaldson will have a sense of security once she receives her second dose, but she realizes not everyone will feel the same way.

“I think I will be safe, but I’d also wear a mask just so others that aren’t vaccinated feel safe in school,” Donaldson said. 

Despite the high numbers in vaccinations and low number of COVID cases, some still believe there is more work to be done before we take this large step back to normalcy.  

“I think our focus should be to do whatever we can as individuals to protect the lives of those who are at a higher risk with the virus currently,” Nash said.

Before you make up your decision on the mask debate, Stamp has some advice.

“Take some time and examine how you really feel about the issue, not how your friends feel or how your family feels, but how you feel about it, and then act accordingly,” she said.