Mask and vaccine controversy

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 7th, 2021).

On September 2nd, 2021 a highly controversial Seminole County school board meeting took place to discuss whether or not to keep the 30 day trial mask mandate, after having over 1000 SCPS students test positive so far in this school year. After eight hours of seriously debating the ultimate decision was to require masks for students unless they had a note from a parent\guardian opting them out.

Of course, those with health conditions that make it difficult to wear a mask shouldn’t have to, and those restricted from getting the vaccine due to religion or health shouldn’t feel pressured to get the vaccine. However, anyone who can get the vaccine should get the vaccine to protect the people who can’t. Being able to get the vaccine and wear a mask is a privilege, which some people don’t get to have due to medical complications.

Sophomore Kaiden Lopez feels there isn’t a difference in his safety regarding the masks “This school year is definitely different without masks but I feel just as safe without them as I did with them,” said Lopez.

However, the main difference this year compared to last year is that we are facing a much more severe variant of Covid. The new Delta variant is more dangerous and more contagious than we’ve ever seen before with Covid and it’s our responsibility to stop spreading it before the virus gets worse. The fact that the school board didn’t bring back mandatory masks was more shocking than anything considering the time we are in.

As for the students who have yet to be vaccinated, they are waiting until they are more educated on the available vaccines before they get them. Students are encouraged to check reliable sources such as the FDA website, doctors, and the CDC website for more information and updates on vaccine progress.

Please join the now 179 million Americans who are fully vaccinated to keep everyone safe, especially the people who are unable to receive the vaccination. We are so privileged to have access to resources such as free masks at our school and other public places. Everyone should be taking advantage of this especially if they are not getting the vaccine. Let’s all work together to make our community a safer place.