Masks make it possible for schools to remain open

Three+stroudsburg+students+engaging+in+mask-covered+conversation.

Photo by Benjamin Veley

Three stroudsburg students engaging in mask-covered conversation.

Benjamin Veley, Staff Writer

Like it or not, masks serve a very important purpose.

During these times of Covid-19’s new normal, one must be prepared to wear a mask in most settings. As unflattering as they seem, there are many ways one can customize and many different types of face masks available. Most importantly though, one wants a mask that will keep out any germs and prevent the wearer’s germs from spreading through the air. 

 Students in the SASD are required to wear masks. At SHS, the principal supports the law.

“I cannot find any doubt to not trust the masks,” said SHS principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl. “We will follow what medical experts recommend and follow CDC guidelines.”

The importance of wearing a face mask goes beyond Covid-19. Before this pandemic struck, people used masks daily, especially in busy cities in Asia. The pollution in those cities can be harmful to people’s lungs, so they utilize them. After the world was under national quarantine, masks were mandated and required in all public places. 

Even when Covid wasn’t global, it was mandatory in places such as doctors’ offices to wear a mask if one was sick, even with something as simple as the common cold. There are only a few exceptions for those who cannot wear the mask. Children under the age of two years must not wear face coverings.  Children between the ages of two and five years old are not required to wear face coverings, but are encouraged to wear a face-covering when in public, if they can do so, reliably, in compliance with CDC guidelines.

There are other extenuating circumstances in which people will not wear a mask. A few examples are for people who have respiratory issues, people who are unconscious, and people who are unable to remove a mask off without needing assistance. There are masks, though, that can accommodate these needs. 

There are many types of masks available for people to wear. The most popular ones are the disposable surgical mask, the N-95, cloth masks with filters, regular cloth masks, face shields, bandanas, and balaclavas. The most effective mask is the N-95 because of its inner respiration system and limits the most amount of germs getting in or out of the mask. The most comfortable of them all is a cloth mask because its material is the least abrasive. It should be noted that this mask is not as effective as an N-95. 

Cloth masks allow for more customization and personality. Most fabrics will work to make a quality mask, so students have an opportunity to get creative with theirs.  

Cloth masks with a piece of metal in the part over the nose enables a person to shape so it fits better. Adding a filter to these types of masks makes for a more protective covering. Bandanas and balaclavas make for more full-face covering, but again, not as effective as the N-95. A highly suggested tip is to wash any cloth face mask and bandana/balaclava to prevent odor and bacteria build-up. Another tip to prevent odor is to put a very small amount of essential oil on the mask to help with good smells!

It seems as though SHS students understand the importance of wearing masks at school.

“We want and need to stay in school to get the education,” said sophomore Lilli Grenaday. “We love it here, we want to stay.” 

As long as everyone does their part, there is a much great chance that schools will remain open.

 “There is still a chance to get Covid, but we are all trying our best to prevent that happening,” said junior Krow Moran. “I am hopeful for the future of this school.”