To Mask, or Not To Mask


A huge milestone in the pandemic is here: the school and the town of Sudbury have made the decision to lift the mask mandate, making masks optional. This is an emotional and important time for many people as they make the decision about whether they are going to continue wearing a mask. 

People who live with immuno-compromised family members, or are immuno-compromised themselves, want to keep themselves and their families safe. Safety has to take priority over comfort or communication complications for these people because there is just too much of a risk even though they are fully vaccinated. Even if they don’t have family or friends who are immuno-compromised, some may decide to keep their mask on to protect their community, for example, co-workers or teammates. While they may want to have better communication with others, taking off a mask is too much of a risk for the people around them..

Some also have developed a feeling of security to a mask. They would feel anxious without wearing one, such as when the mandate was lifted last summer. It could have nothing to do with their health or of others, but that they’re so used to wearing one, it feels like they’re breaking the rules by not wearing a mask.

On the other hand, there are those who will choose to not wear a mask. They too have multiple reasons for doing so. Some are personally annoyed with them, perhaps they find it tedious. Others feel hopeful and excited for things to be back to normal. After all, we will someday have to return to a life with no masks, and many students feel frustrated to those who choose to be resistant to change, with no other outside forces affecting their opinion. 

Then there are those with mixed opinions, as it is both an exciting and uncertain time. Some find it worrisome, since the effects of making masks optional is unclear. Even if cases are low, it can be unnerving thinking about what could happen. Certainly, there are some who feel enthusiastic and worried about it all. 

Overall, what does stick out as a common response, is that there should be no one judging anyone based on whether they continue to wear a mask or not. The school and faculty have made the message loud and clear: do what you are most comfortable with and what makes the most sense with your own situation. We should not feel pressure to stick to a decision for the rest of the year. Changing your mind or opinion is completely understandable, so long as it is what you decide to do. We shouldn’t be making our decisions based on pressure from what others around us are doing, and individuality is going to be key with this transition so that we can all feel safe and comfortable with those around us.