Why SPS Made the Right Decision to Lift the Mask Mandate


Philip Childakos, Staff Writer

Governor Ned Lamont announced that he will end the statewide mask mandate in schools and childcare on February 28, 2022. This means that Mayor Simmons and the Board of Education can make the call on masks across the district. They have decided to lift the mask mandate starting March 15. I believe Stamford Public Schools’ decision to lift the mask mandate was the right call. 

According to the CDC, the severity of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 disease has lessened. However, this strain spreads very easily and can even sicken vaccinated people, though vaccination would lessen the intensity of the symptoms. The virus is unpredictable in severity such that some people don’t show any symptoms while others are hospitalized. Regardless of vaccination status, anyone can catch the virus. These factors almost make the mask wearing unnecessary. We are now at a point where most people who are going to get vaccinated have already gotten it. It is a general consensus that we aren’t going to wear masks forever, so if we are going to take them off, now is a great time. 

On another note, the severity of the disease is currently much lower, similar to influenza or even less than that. We never wore a mask for the flu, so we shouldn’t have to now. We do not have to go into this blindly. The UK lifted almost every COVID-19 restriction including masks in schools. Their reasoning is that Omicron cases have reached their peak, meaning everyone has already gotten the disease. According to the JHU CSSE, the number of cases in the UK has gradually shrunk since the peak. This proves that lifting mask mandates in schools will be fine.

My final point, while it may sound trivial, is actually the most important reason of all to many students: wearing masks in school kind of sucks. They can be distracting and cumbersome, which would affect the learning experience. Especially for elementary school students who have a hard time concentrating in general. Also, it would be nice to see everyone’s faces again. It is important that young children learn facial expressions and how they correlate with emotions. Not recognizing these facial expressions will lead to social decline. Social difficulties are one of the saddest things to see, in my opinion. For these reasons I believe that if masks aren’t necessary, then taking them off in schools will be fine.