Harvey County lifts mask mandate

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Daniel Gonzalez-Arevalo, Reporter

Over a year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and forced the majority of Americans into quarantine. In the time since then, many restrictions have been lifted and some people have been able to live a semi-normal life. One of those restrictions that has started to be lifted in some states is the requirement of wearing a mask. Harvey County is now one of those locations in which the mandate has been lifted. 

Life wearing a mask has become the new normal for many people over the past year. Despite this, many could not wait until the moment where they no longer had to wear them. The varying opinions on the decision to lift the mandate have become very apparent in places where there are large groups of people. One of those such places is public school.

“I think it’s a good thing that we lifted the mask mandate in Harvey County,” junior Christopher Mick said. “People can still wear them if they want to but I think overall it is a good idea to lift it.”

Mick believes that with all of the vaccinations being administered it is the right time to lift the mandate. Additionally, he believes that by lifting the mandate it could potentially build the community back up. However, junior Madelynn Hamm believes that it is still not the right time to lift the mandate. 

“It will affect the community in a negative way; people probably won’t social distance and COVID numbers will rise again,” Hamm said. “I don’t think enough people have gotten the vaccine to safely lift the mask mandate.”

Hamm is not the only student that believes that it was too soon to lift the mask mandate in Harvey County. In a school-wise survey with 130 responses, 66 students believed that it is not the right time to lift the mandate. In comparison, 42 students believed that it was the right time to lift it and 22 had still not formed an opinion on the topic. Students are still required to wear masks in public school buildings, however, the rules are not the same in other public areas. 

“I probably won’t [wear a mask] unless the business or wherever I go says you need to wear one,” Mick said. “But even with that I may not wear one.”

In contrast, other students believe that due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, masks should still be worn. Many students who were in favor of wearing a mask expressed their fear of getting the virus and the worry of one of their family members contracting it. 

“I feel like the decision was made too early. We should be safe rather than sorry later when we have to shut things down again,” Hamm said. “Personally, I will continue to wear my mask in public places.”

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