Mask mandate is a breath of fresh air

Mandate slows the spread of COVID-19


Sophia Curran-Moore

Now that I’ve been living in a pandemic for almost two years, wearing my mask feels as normal as wearing any other article of clothing. Bringing my mask with me feels as natural and necessary as bringing my cell phone — when I leave the house without a mask, I can’t shake the feeling that something is missing.

St. Louis Park City Council temporarily lifted its mask mandate, but on Jan. 18, the requirement of face coverings was reinstated. The ordinance takes effect from Jan. 21 to Feb. 22. Regardless of vaccination status, individuals must wear a face covering in all public places in the city. There are exceptions for people unable to wear a mask due to disability.

I support the re-establishment of the mask ordinance. Given the omicron variant spreads rapidly, slowing the spread of COVID-19 is just as crucial now as it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Mask-wearing and mask mandates are effective in slowing the spread.

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is important because for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised, contracting the virus may be very dangerous. It’s scary to constantly worry about one’s own health and safety.

People cannot receive the care they need if the healthcare system is overwhelmed. Minimizing the spread makes hospital beds available for everyone who needs one, and enables healthcare workers to properly take care of those in need.

This mask mandate is an extension, not a restriction, of freedom.

— Sophia Curran-Moore

If we don’t take precautions now, there could be a massive peak in COVID-19 cases later. Having a mask mandate now reduces the possibility of a lockdown in the future. I’d rather wear a mask and get to go where I want than not wear a mask, but be stuck at home.

This mask mandate is an extension, not a restriction, of freedom. The option to go to school in person is only possible if everyone wears masks, both inside and outside of school. Knowing my classmates are required to wear masks in public places in the city makes me feel more safe at school.

The mask requirement allows me the freedom to safely go to a store, gym, restaurant or any other public place. Knowing everyone must wear a mask makes social outings less stressful. Requiring people to wear masks now also increases the likelihood I will have the choice to go to important events in the future like prom and graduation in-person.

This mandate only lasts a month, which concerns me. I hope it is extended so that mask-wearing continues to be encouraged. I also hope this mandate will be enforced properly.

Although constantly following COVID-19 protocols has gotten tiring, it’s crucial to continue taking precautions against the virus so we can eventually go back to normal.