BEHIND THE MASK

How do Powell High School students feel about the new Covid-19 regulations?

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Abby Landwehr

The Powell High School Cheerleading Team wears their masks while sitting on the sidelines.

To wear a mask or to not wear a mask? That is the question. As schools opened across the country, Powell High School is among those that introduced protocols regarding mask wearing and traffic patterns in the hallways.. 

While restrictions have been put in place to keep students and staff safe, students have expressed strong opinions as to whether the masks and split hallways create a bigger issue.

“I don’t like speaking up as much with the masks because it makes it more awkward and it’s harder to talk and understand people,” senior Sami Cole said. “I already hate public speaking and that’s just another thing to add to it. 

The masks may cause a challenge when simply trying to complete classwork, serving as a distraction for many students.

“Masks are definitely an inconvenience when I’m trying to do homework,” Cole said. “Once I start thinking about it, that’s all I can think about.” 

However, for more hands-on classes like welding or foods, Mrs. Denise Laursen says masks allow for face-to-face teaching which is crucial in proper education for such classes culinary teacher

“I don’t personally like it but it doesn’t make a difference,” culinary teacher, Mrs. Laursen, said. “The biggest thing is I want you students in school.”

The importance of masks and traffic patterns, however, is still just as crucial in keeping our schools open. According to the Wyoming Department of Health Contact Tracing Protocols, “It is important that we continue to emphasize the importance of physical distancing … whenever possible in schools …. While we know masks are effective, distancing is still the most effective tool we currently have to prevent transmission.”

This point is echoed by the PHS principal.

“As we look across the state, there hasn’t been a lot of widespread transmission in schools,”  Mr. Tim Wormald said. “Because students and staff are wearing face coverings, that has limited the spread [of COVID-19] from becoming an outbreak.”

In order to keep learning in person and not behind a computer screen, the value in wearing a mask and staying to the right in school zones is as high as ever. As we move through the rest of the year, let’s keep our spirits high and our masks on.

Most students understand the value of wearing the masks but are still not fond of the masks themselves. 

“Out of everyone I know, I probably wear my mask the least,” senior Whitney Hull said. “Any time there is any opportunity to take it off, I have it off. I feel like I am in that lower majority of people who don’t wear it very often.”