Masks are a necessary part of being in school

Christopher Denkovich, Editor in Chief

One of the major issues and the most disliked part of in person learning is wearing masks all day long. With this issue there are two main sides, the people who are okay with wearing masks and those who are not. The main argument from people who don’t want to wear masks is that they can’t breathe. However, the American Lung Association states that masks show no signs of decreasing oxygen levels but that they can disrupt your breathing pattern and make it uncomfortable. If it feels uncomfortable it is just showing that it is working as a filter.

 Are masks effective? The American Lung Association answered with the fact that, “The gold standard N-95 mask is 95% effective at keeping the wearer free of inhaling viral particles.  These masks are still best reserved for front-line workers in high risk settings where aerosols of viral particles occur. Surgical masks are less effective and cloth face coverings even less so in protecting the wearer. However even a 50% reduction in viral transmission is statistically important.” This is saying that nothing is perfect but it still helps keep people safe and during times like these, we need all the protection we can get. Masks are not only to stop you from getting COVID-19 but they work best to stop already infected people from spreading it.

 If you already have COVID-19 it can make it harder to breathe with or without wearing a mask as it is a respiratory disease, so it can directly attack your respiratory system and your lungs. If COVID-19 infects your lungs, you should experience mild to moderate symptoms. It is unlikely that you will get severe symptoms unless it reaches your alveoli. The alveoli is the part in your lungs where oxygen enters your bloodstream and carbon dioxide exits. 

With Pennsylvania’s new mask mandates it is required to test negative 72 hours before entering the state or to self quarantine for 14 days. Although the state has no way or plan to enforce this law. On Nov 16, Philadelphia said it would ban indoor gatherings and indoor dining,museums, gyms and libraries. Montgomery County, one of the state’s most populated counties, ordered all schools to stop in person learning until Dec. 6.

According to almost every expert, you should wear a mask anytime you are in public which includes school. The only time where you shouldn’t wear  a mask is when you have talked to your doctor about a preexisting condition. The teachers and all the faculty members at Freedom are working their hardest to keep students safe. 

“Keeping students safe is our number one concern and we are doing the best we can,” said Mr. Ryan Smith, the middle school principal. The staff is trying their best to incorporate mask breaks as much as possible into students´ schedules. No matter what kind of mask you wear they are 0% effective if they are worn incorrectly. The proper way to wear a mask is with the mask covering your mouth and nose at all times. Masks can get uncomfortable, obnoxious, and annoying but wearing them is what we as students need to do to keep our friends and family safe. Be a Bulldog and wear your mask.