Are masks just going to be the new norm?

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Trever Tilton, Opinion Editor

The talk with masks this year so far has been a headache. We go from the district saying they would be encouraged throughout the entire summer, to required and strictly enforced.

Everyone’s hopes for this school year were high.

“I hope we are eventually able to go to school mask-free,” sophomore Will Hudelson said. “I don’t mind masks, but I wish that we had the option to not wear them.”

A big bummer for most students was the thought that getting the vaccine was the golden ticket that they needed to return to school maskless and return to their everyday lives. A lot of those students are now irritated because of this. 

As the school board/district never said that we would be coming back to school with no masks, they did say that the vaccine would be one of the things that would help make that transition easier.

Personally, I am not a big fan of masks, but I understand that as of right now, with all the different variants of COVID-19, we are still at risk. If the school board voted for optional masks, I know myself and a decent amount of the school’s population would go maskless, while a good portion would still mask up.

Junior Bri Dodson talks about why she thinks masks should be optional.

“Since I am vaccinated, I personally don’t see the reason for masks,” Dodson said. “I feel like if you are vaccinated you should have the option of if you want to wear a mask or not.”

However, a lot of students at De Soto High School are very uninformed when it comes to this mask mandate, along with a decent number of parents.

I know last year when I wrote my “What to look forward to for the next school year” article, I mentioned a lot about the possibility of masks. Now I never said it was definite on whether we would have to wear them or not, but I was close when I said they could be optional.

Now students, parents and even some teachers across the county/district are wanting the mask mandate to be lifted. Parents and students are protesting at board meetings and even in front of the school before it starts. I don’t know if they are aware that the school board can’t necessarily change this when it is a county decision by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners.

However, as we can see with the recent numbers relating to COVID-19 this pandemic is definitely not over yet.

My general idea for this year was that it was going to be normal. So far, other than the requirement of wearing masks, it’s been as normal as normal can be. With fewer restrictions in and out of school along with more freedom, I feel like we are finally starting to turn in the right direction.