Eight hours a day, five days a week, muffled and controlled; this is our 2020-2021 school year. Our new life is filled with small cloths covering half our identity and stealing our voices. The masks are causing health issues, mentally, physically and socially, stopping most life.
In an interview, Maria Godoy, an NPR health correspondent, said, “The fibers masks are made of aren’t dense enough to block the exchange of gases, like oxygen or carbon dioxide. And these masks aren’t so tight that air can’t get in around the sides.”
If they’re thin enough to continue our regular breathing, how are they dense enough to protect against COVID-19 particles? Answer is, they aren’t. While this is an answer to lesser breathing, it shows the weakness against the virus itself.
There’s proof of this from an article about the California smoke, by Matthew Brown, saying this about the cloth masks, “Cloth masks and other non-medical-grade face coverings aren’t the best way to stop a person from inhaling infectious particles and droplets.”
He follows this by saying, “Rather, face coverings are widely mandated because they make it more difficult for infected people to spread the virus.”
Which suggests that only the infected should wear the masks, but even then, there isn’t much protection.
Godoy suggests wearing an N95 respirator and then goes on to say how only medical professionals should be wearing these due to the low stock; yet we’re still told to wear the smaller cloth ones. Godoy also suggests mask breaks throughout your day when no one else is around. To me personally, this isn’t an option as I attend a high school full of almost 3,000 students, and rules saying we cannot eat or drink in the hallways or classrooms.
This is too far. Eight hours of anyone’s day cannot be lived with less oxygen, being uncomfortable, no water and only 30 minutes for you to eat enough to sustain you through the rest of your day, not to mention this is every day, five days of the week. As a student, I find this unreasonable and difficult to abide by. We need change.
Regardless of factual evidence, I wanted to hear from the students at Clear Creek High school, so I created a simple survey and got responses of many statements expressing their frustrations: “The masks make communication much more difficult than it needs to be. Students on the other side of the classroom from the teacher practically yell to answer questions, and I just don’t see how people condone living confined like that.” Other responses expressed masks making anxiety worse and quarantine forcing children into failing.
It’s very clear that these unnecessary precautions are suffocating the future, the present and stifling the past of this world. Making masks a choice would be one step in the right direction. We’ve had the masks on long enough; it’s time to take them off. After all, this is a free country.