Students respond to mask mandate being lifted

Jenna Saltzman

Governor Lamont’s executive order on the mask mandate in schools ended on Feb 28. With the Omicron variant’s rapid decline, district leaders decided to let the mask mandate in public schools expire, resulting in masks being optional for everybody in Danbury Public Schools. 

Since Omicron’s peak of over ten thousand covid cases on Jan. 10, cases have been declining at a rapid pace leading to many officials declaring that the Omicron variant is coming to an end. 

While many students and teachers were ecstatic about the mask mandate being lifted, there are still many teachers and students who are not comfortable taking off their masks in schools. 

Many students have stated that lifting the mask mandate is a step towards normal while many other students believe that it is still not safe enough for mask mandates to be lifted. 

Emily Rodriguez, a junior at Danbury High School, is the one of many students who expressed concern with the mask mandate being lifted stating a fear that “covid would be able to spread easier which can affect many families and people who don’t have a strong immune system to handle covid. ”

While some like Rodriguez are continuing to wear a mask in school because they do not feel safe yet, other students expressed that they still wear a mask solely because they are self conscious of how they look without one. 

Along with receiving responses from people who are still wearing masks, many answered stating that they will not be using a mask anymore as well as some students, such as Junior Eliana Marrero, who only wears a mask in the hallway. 

“I still like there to be distance in the class because at the end of the day I don’t know if other people are sick.” Like Marrero, some of the students agreed, confirming that despite only wearing a mask halfway they are still uneasy.  

Unlike those who still wear a mask in the hallways, many students like Luanna Moura feel comfortable without one. 

Moura stated for the time being she feels safe without a mask unless “people start getting sick again”. 

While mask mandates will continue to be a controversy amongst students and teachers, for now masks will continue to be optional.