Masks Become Comfortable for Many

Similar to how you put on a pair of shoes before you leave the house, you grab a mask. And, leaving the house without shoes makes you feel naked. Straying from the new normal to find the old creates a similar sense of bareness. During the pandemic, masks were intended to protect one from the coronavirus. Since then, masks feel like another article of clothing. 

On Feb. 22, 2022, Stafford High School students had to face the decision of whether or not they were comfortable with being face-naked in public. The Stafford County School Board lifted the mask mandate in schools, and students were given the option to wear a mask. 

Just like flies, masks have been dropping, as students have become more comfortable with everyone seeing the bottom half of their faces, or they plainly do not feel the mask to be necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Then there are the people who are much harder to read: the people that wear a mask below their nose more times than not. Two months ago, it was impossible to make it to your next class with your mask below your nose.  

According to NBC DFW (News Broad Cast Dallas Fort-Worth) Improperly wearing a mask is pointless and defeats the purpose entirely of shielding respiratory droplets. 

This information is no secret yet countless students are seen wearing masks below their noses. Why do we wear our masks incorrectly when mask mandates are lifted and the majority of us are aware of the facts?

“There’s no point in wearing [a mask] if you’re not going to wear it right,” Senior Ben Putka said.

Now that the mandate has been lifted, students turn to mask wearing for a sense of solace. 

“There’s no point. I feel like it’s a comfort thing for most people because we’ve been wearing them for so long,” senior Destiny Lawrence said. 

Comfort seems to be the primary motif for those who remain masked. 

“We’ve gotten so comfortable wearing them,” sophomore Jacqualine Arrington said. 

For others, the choice is situational. In order to stay cautious, we determine whether a mask is necessary depending on how many people are in the room.

“In the hallways, I wear my mask correctly because there are a lot of people,” Rhian Batts, senior, said. “In classes, there are not many people so I feel better about not wearing my mask all the way up.”

Some students choose to fight the battle of staying cautious vs. being comfortable all day. 

“People put it on to protect other people, but throughout the day, they end up forgetting or it gets uncomfortable so they move it later in the day,” Junior Kristian Melina said. 

Another idea formed was the social aspect of wearing a mask to school.

“Wearing it makes you look more socially conscious,” Junior, Aiden Marvashti said. 

Students were okay with the pointlessness of wearing a mask improperly, and it appears that many students simply would rather at least attempt to wear their mask than not at all – even if it means wearing a mask that leads to discomfort. 

“It’s definitely worth the effort of trying to keep it up as much as you can because at least you’re putting in the effort to be concerned about public safety, but there’s no point if you’re not going to wear it right,” Putka said.