By Paulina Leskow, ’24
After about a year of COVID restrictions, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the mask mandate and other emergency rules would be lifted on May 29th. These rules included limits on the number of people in stores or restaurants, and the requirement that masks be worn indoors and out. Schools, hospitals, doctor offices and train stations must keep the mask rule, but many indoor businesses including Target and Walmart will no longer require them. Massachusetts schools dropped the mask rule outdoors and during sports just a couple of weeks ago. State and federal officials still encourage non-vaccinated people to wear masks, but there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination.
Some HHS students are relieved to take off their masks, while others expressed doubt about the decision.
“It’s a little more normalcy,” said Connor Mansfield, a sophomore.
“I’m excited about not wearing masks, but there is some hesitancy,” said Olivia Campo, a freshman. Although the lifted rules will bring the community one step closer to normal life, she said, she worries whether COVID-19 has been contained. “I just hope we don’t go back into lockdown.”
Junior Daniel Leskow also has mixed feelings. Although having no masks would be great, he said, he is not sure if it is the safest option as the virus continues to spread in some areas.
“I feel like it’s a really big step, it’s a huge jump and I don’t know if the world is ready to remove masks,” he added. “But a lot of people are getting vaccinated so the risk is going down.”
The world is fighting back the Coronavirus but some wonder if it would be best to keep the restrictions in place for a while longer. This new lifting of masks and other restrictions will change our daily lives. Will it help us return to normal faster? Or will it only give the virus another chance to surge?