Mask Misuse Has Consequences

So Be Vigilant!


Photograph by Sabrina Morata

Masks worn improperly put everyone at risk so please be vigilant!

On March 13th, 2020, our world turned upside down. At MCDS, many of us thought we were just getting a longer Spring Break.  Then two weeks turned into a month, and a month into the rest of the school year.  Now, it has been 8 months since COVID-19 cases were detected in our country, six since we’ve been in quarantine and hybrid mode and things are drastically different.

New norms have been implemented at school to cope with the ongoing pandemic. We are now learning in socially distanced classrooms, running to and from classes due to the lack of passing periods, hand sanitizers are in every classroom and hallway, plastic dividers are present on desks and most importantly, we are obligated to wear a mask everyday, except when we are eating. 

Yes, the annoying pieces of fabric that go over your face fog up your glasses, make it hard to hear each other and sometimes make it harder to breathe. However, they are crucial in decreasing the spread of COVD-19 and therefore must be worn properly.

“I recommend that the students who see someone not complying with [the guidelines] should report it immediately so we can do something about it. I think for the most part faculty and staff are being vigilant, but we expect students to report more. We need to stay safe in order to be fully on campus,” says Dean of Students, Jose Oronoz, after being asked about how well students and faculty and staff are complying with the guidelines set forth by the school. 

The CDC recommends a mask that is at least two layers and that fits snugly on your face, covering both your nose and mouth. A mask protects people from your germs, so wearing it improperly renders the mask useless, and enables possible virus particles to run rampant in the air.

If you see someone, please remind them to wear it properly. (Photograph by Sabrina Morata)

We know there have been circumstances of people wearing their masks improperly. We know by wearing your mask improperly, you are putting other people at risk.  Just because we are back in school does not mean the pandemic is over or that we can be lax about our own behavior. In fact, this week two students who remain anonymous and whose grade levels are unknown to faculty, staff and students, were diagnosed as positive, according to an email sent out by Mrs. Hufford.

In that correspondence, she wrote: “While we cannot release the names of these students due to privacy laws, we can tell you that they are safe and have been self-quarantining at home since first alerting the school of their positive results. We have worked with the Department of Health officials to complete contact tracing to identify who the students might have come in contact with on-campus and have confirmed no additional quarantine of any students, faculty, or staff is necessary.”

Occasionally, the mask may slip, exposing the nose, or a person might take off their mask in order to be able to be heard more clearly. These are the types of actions that cannot persist if we expect to stay on campus. Remember, a mask protects others from getting infected from you, it does not protect you from contracting the virus.  If we want to stop the spread of COVID-19, we should abide by the rules set in place to keep us safe. Wear your mask properly, wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer whenever possible. We are all in this together, so let’s work together to ensure that we will be able to stay in school.