To Mask Or Not To Mask…That is the Question

To Mask Or Not To Mask...That is the Question

Morgan Salter, Staff Writer/Editor

As the pandemic slowed down due to the vaccine rollout, many Americans finally saw a light at the end of a tunnel. Get vaccinated, shed the mask, and life goes back to normal everything they were promised. However, many Americans chose not to get vaccinated due to a multitude of reasons, this put a halt to America’s march toward herd immunity.

This shattered the dreams of a nation of going back to normal. A new variant took over COVID-19,  the Delta variant. It forced many state and local governments to come out with new mask guidelines even for the vaccinated. This heightened one of the greatest debates of our generation, “The Great Mask Debate.”

While the debate rages on in the rest of the country, here at Holy Family High School, the Administration with the guidance of the CDPHE, Broomfield Public Health, and recommendations of the CDC has gone mask optional which has been received well by the student body and teachers alike. The majority of the students and staff go maskless however, there are a few who choose to wear them, Mr. Petersen and Mrs. Frie are just some of the teachers who chose to wear one, I interviewed them to ask the question everyone wants to know, why?

Mrs. Frie teaching her French class

Both are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and when asked why do they choose to wear a mask? Mr. Petersen stated that it is to “protect people at home and students in the classroom.” While Mrs. Frie chooses to wear one “to show solidarity to students with compromised immune systems.” She also mentioned that she also wears one due to one of her family members had a breakthrough case of the virus and was at home, sick for 3 weeks. Some may ask, what is a breakthrough case? Well, a breakthrough case is when a vaccinated person contracts the Delta variant, it is extremely rare, however, it definitely shows you why getting vaccinated and following CDC guidelines is extremely important. Without the vaccine, Mrs. Frie’s family member could have gotten even sicker and the consequences could have been direr. She only takes off her mask in class when teaching up at the front of the board in which she has a row of desks separating her from her students

On the topic of the Delta variant, when asked if they see the Delta variant as a problem, sabotaging America’s progress with the pandemic, Mr. Petersen responded, “Problem has a lot of meanings to it, but for me personally, and I don’t want to speak for others if there are things I can do that can make me feel safe and those around me feel safe as well, that is what I choose to do.” Mrs. Frie added, “Immunization is a personal choice, but there are consequences for these choices.”

With both having a sense that the Delta variant could pose a threat, that brings up the question, is the Administration’s choice to go mask optional. Mrs. Frie feels very safe, with our filtration system as well as our new HVAC installed and is also happy that “people have the option.” Mr. Petersen thinks that the “Administration puts a lot of thought into their decisions and with working with the Broomfield Health Department, I trust what the Administration recommends and will abide by those rules.”

Mr. Petersen teaching his English class

Now, wearing masks especially is not popular with the majority of Americans, sometimes that can lead to a huge backlash. When asked if they experienced any backlash for wearing a mask at school from anyone both teachers said they haven’t. Mr. Petersen said that he was very supportive of his choice of wearing a mask. Mrs. Frie’s students are a “you do you” attitude and do not seem to mind it.

It is nice to know that in a country that is so engulfed in hatred and division. That is the state of Colorado, in Broomfield city and county, a small Catholic High School named Holy Family that here is a sliver of paradise, who would have known? Mask or no mask we all recognize that we have dignity, each one of us has varying opinions, and it is nice to know that we aren’t attacked for them.