Mask off: Statewide mask mandate is lifted

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As the pandemic hit the one year mark, wearing masks has become an integrated part of daily life. It has recently been announced that Governor Greg Abbott is lifting the statewide mask mandate.

There is much controversy with this decision. While many think this decision is the beginning to the end of the pandemic, there are many who believe it is not safe yet and think lifting the mandate is inconsiderate to those still in danger from the pandemic.

“There are still people who are getting this virus everyday,” said junior Andy Lopez. “The fact that people want to take off the masks that are protecting us from all being sick is the problem. This will only make matters worse because more and more people will catch the virus and others will attract it. The cycle is endless if we are going to be so careless.”

Although most establishments will still require patrons to wear a mask, many allow a free choice but are still encouraging the use of a mask. As the virus is still circulating the air, many are concerned.

“I do understand that people are frustrated by how long this pandemic has been going on,” said junior Abigail Denham. “Trust me, I’ve been living it too. But in order to get things back to normal, we have to wait until all of this has blown over in order to return to normality.”

While some still feel masks are necessary, others are ready for things to get back to normal.

“The masks, the distancing, the caution, all of it is too much worry for a life that we are supposed to be living without a worry in the world.” said junior, Angel Cobb said. “Just because a virus is spreading, does not mean we should pause our lives for it. We never know what is going to happen to us and when our last days could be, make it count.”

The pandemic has caused many frustrations.

“I am not going to sit around waiting for this to all be over,” said sophomore Claire Elizette. “I am a young teenager in high school. I should be out partying with friends, not cooped up in my house where the most exciting thing that happens is seeing my toast pop out of the toaster.”

However, as more and more people get vaccinated, the pandemic is slowly coming to an end.