Mask up Orange: Importance of following guidelines for safety

design: Morgan Kubetin

After months of waking up just to stare at a computer screen for hours on end, students are finally given the chance to make their way back to school and return to in-person classes through the hybrid model. However, this small beacon of hope that students are barely grasping onto can be ruined in an instant due to the simplest things: not wearing masks and social distancing.

Masks and social distancing prevent not only the coronavirus, but plenty of other ailments that are plaguing the world right now and are vital to keeping students safe at school. Wearing a mask, social distancing and being responsible about the virus is far superior to spending another year cooped up inside the house trying to learn without any structure.

Wearing a mask and social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and potentially save someone’s life. According to the CDC, there have almost been 200,000 deaths in the United States alone. The most unfortunate factor of all of this is that if people wore masks and were socially distanced, this number would be minuscule compared to what it is now.

At school, students have their masks down at inappropriate times like during class or they leave their noses out. This is extremely dangerous and irresponsible because without a mask being used, the virus can spread significantly- even in that short while that the mask is down.

At school, don’t pull masks down as a joke or to take breaks. If a break is needed that badly, go somewhere that is empty with no people around and do it safely.

Another problem at school is the hallways. Even though there are provisions put in place like one-way hallways, many refuse to listen to them and walk closely next to other people. If people at the school space themselves even just a little more, it would help make the school much safer.

Hanging out with friends is completely acceptable if everyone is wearing a mask and distancing: there is little to no risk. But, having parties and large group gatherings at this time is a very selfish act, and those who do this should be prepared for the consequences. If there is a safer way to accomplish hanging out with others, then no debate should be made about it.

The most common argument when it comes to people’s refusal to wear a mask is that it is difficult to breathe, which in many cases can be very true. However, it doesn’t inhibit breathing in any way.

According to the University of Maryland’s Medical System, wearing a mask does not cause a build-up of any carbon dioxide and they offer adequate airflow. Essentially, breathing through a mask should not affect oxygen levels and it helps keep particles contained.

As difficult as dealing with this pandemic is, it can be made much easier if everyone wore masks and social distanced. The school year is going to be different from the rest but in the end, it is still more beneficial than trying to learn online. Wearing a mask is simple and it saves lives, so be a better person and wear them.