OPINION: Masks are a necessary evil to unmask later on


Zoe Long, Editor/Writer

About a month before Covid really began, and we were given the “two week break”, my grandma and aunt died. I am sure we can all agree that Covid was terrifying, but after experiencing my first real death in my immediate family, it got even scarier. My grandpa, who is 78 years old, had just lost his wife and lived alone. We visited him constantly before Covid hit, but there was no real way to do that during quarantine. These were an interesting few months to say the least, as my mom had just lost her mom and my parents had to deal with three teenagers in their house 24/7. 

I was one of the few students who stayed remote the entirety of last year, so it’s pretty easy to assume that coming back to school full time was definitely a shock. I enjoy my teachers and my classmates, but online school had become something that I was a bit accustomed to, sadly. One thing that was definitely jarring coming back was the amount of noses. Masks are not particularly enjoyable in any way, but it’s uncomfortable for me to see all the people wearing them incorrectly. Talking to other students who stayed remote all of last year, they are also very unsettled when they see all the facial features that are supposed to be covered. After the two deaths I mentioned previously, my grandpa became even more important to me, so I try to be as careful as possible, which is hard when you’re surrounded by people who are not. 

Last Friday was the first football game Winthrop High School has had in awhile. There were no masks in sight, loud music, and the blending of all the people in all the grades. For the first time in a while, it felt like normal high school. I am not sure if I was alone in this feeling but I actually felt like a high school student for the first time in a while. Although that feeling was nice, I wondered if it should stay. Would things like football games ever feel like a given again after the year we had? 

I would love to have more of these experiences within high school, where thoughts like “am I standing too close?” or “is this person vaccinated?” don’t cross my mind. Although I agree with many people that that masks are annoying, they’re completely necessary, not just because of the importance of the lives of older people, but also the importance of us as students having a  genuine high school experience.

***This opinion article reflects the voice of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Viking Times as a whole.  Like most news outlets, The Viking Times is a non-partisan media platform.***