Covid Protocols: Necessary or Not? [OPINION]


Credit to Hannah Simmons

COVID 19 is a terrible disease that started in 2019. COVID has affected so many people across the world in negative ways. People had to start quarantining and schools had to shut down. Everyone was required to wear masks in public and stay five feet apart from as many people as possible. Some people still wear masks. Right now masks are optional but not fully in use.

 Let’s go back in time. 

It is now February 2020 Everyone has finally settled down from winter break. We are all excited for the new year and what it has in store for all of us. 

Then, it gets announced that two weeks off of school had been added to spring break that we were already looking forward to. Little did we know that those two weeks would turn into two years of quarantining, uncomfortably hot masks and online school stress. 

Let’s fast forward to the present day. No more mandates on wearing masks. No more wiping down desks every hour and no more social distancing. The need for toilet paper has decreased and the fear of someone coughing in class has, for the most part, gone away.

These lack of COVID protocols are letting us get the chance to move forward from COVID instead of holding us back. Now that we’re putting these looser protocols into practice, we’re showing that not wearing masks hasn’t pulled us back into COVID. Rather, it has proved COVID has definitely eased up. 

There have always been concerns about COVID and we all want to continue to keep everyone healthy, but we should also continue to move forward. It’s important to look forward, not only in life but in school. We can’t go back to before all of COVID happened of course but now that COVID has eased up, we have vaccines and built up immune systems. So, wearing masks isn’t a number one priority for most people anymore. The CDC has been known for advocating for wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing everything, but we have now been cleared of these mandates. Meaning we can now choose whether or not we should continue to enforce these protocols. We can now freely choose whether or not to move forward from all this, which is what we should be doing. 

It’s safe to say that this is a topic has many perspectives that come with it and there is still a discussion at hand. But whether you continue to wear a mask or decide against it, all opinions should still be respected. We can’t know everyone’s reasoning for what they decide, nor should we try to. The reasons for wearing a mask could vary. Some may just be used to having to wear a mask and no longer mind it. Others choose to wear masks to be cautious on a daily basis and some choose to wear it for the safety of others. However, for those left unsure on what to do moving forward, consider this. Masks can often seem like a security blanket to those who choose to wear it because they’ve worn it for so long now. It kept us safe in times when we had no clue how to protect ourselves, but now we’ve outgrown it. We have other things that we now realize can protect us such as vaccines and we no longer need that comfort. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, from September 2021 to September 2022, COVID death rates have now dropped 19.82% in Missouri with 57% of the population being vaccinated. We’ve gone down in death rates from last year’s enforced mask mandate in September to this year’s lax COVID protocols. This shows us that lack of mandates has not pushed us back to early COVID, instead we’ve decreased in deaths since September of last year. 

Now that the choice of wearing masks has been put into one’s own hands, there is a choice to be made. While some still have reasons to wear masks daily to those who are uncertain on where they stand, the choice that comes is are you willing to look forward and move on or will you still be cautious of the past? The past few months of progress has given us an opportunity to reconsider where we stand and if we decide to move forward.