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Mandated Masks: Returning to a New Normal

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The 2021-2022 MBHS school year has started and the COVID-19 virus (delta variant in specific) has pushed MBHS into enforcing a mask mandate for the school. The mandate requires students and teachers to wear a mask while inside the classroom. However, the school is not requiring the students or teachers to be vaccinated. This is the first time MBHS has been fully back in session (not on a hybrid schedule) since March of 2020. 

Students and teachers have varying opinions on the new mask requirement.“It affects my learning because I can’t hear the entirety of what the teacher is saying”, said Mason Wintzer, a junior at MBHS. However, Mrs. Van Zee, who teaches government and history states “I like that by wearing masks we can interact in the classroom again.” 

Mr. Schalde, the new principal of MBHS, had a lot to say in correlation to the mask mandate on campus. He noted that there were both positives and negatives to starting school again. “Kids’ needs are different because of COVID. We had slightly more students enrolling right before the start of the year. The challenge was making room for them and getting them the classes they needed. The upside to starting the school year was seeing that the students enjoy being here.” 

While he declined to give his personal feelings on the vaccine, the new MBHS principal did note that “As a principal [of a highschool] I’m glad that our students, because of their age, have the option to get vaccinated.”

Other staff members were more direct about their feelings regarding the COVID vaccine. An anonymous member of MBHS stated “I personally want every student to be vaccinated.” 

The masks are a requirement for the state decided by the health administration. Additionally, as of August 31st SLO country has instituted a county wide mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated people while indoors. At the moment there are no updates to when or if the mandate will be lifted.

 

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