Why masks are important

Anna Baustert, Copy Editor

Since the beginning of this unique year, schools all over have been accommodating to COVID-19 guidelines. Back in August of last year, Edmond Memorial High School came back with a mixed hybrid schedule. The students were split into two groups between “A Day” and “B Day.” This was mandated by the Edmond School Board as a way to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

However, due to the decline of cases over the past few months, the state of Oklahoma has decided to lean back on COVID-19 restrictions. Back in the beginning of April, the Board of Education made the decision for Edmond Public Schools to return to four “in person” days a week, while still wearing masks. 

Oklahoma has been showing positive signs for a return to normalcy, with over 24 percent of the population being fully vaccinated. These encouraging improvements have led people to lower their guard on COVID-19 precautions. 

What people don’t seem to understand is that even as cases are lowering, the virus is still prevalent and persistent. If communities continue to let their guard down COVID-19 cases will begin to rise, again. 

This can lead to pernicious effects in our society and cause for this pandemic to be drawn out even longer. Doing so would also send us back to square one. 

Even though we have now been able to implement vaccines into the mix, there are still precautions that need to be taken. With 24 percent of our population being vaccinated, which is a huge step forward, we still need our vaccination percentage to reach 70 percent or 80 percent before herd immunity can take place.

In these past few weeks, two of the high schools in Oklahoma had decided to make masks optional inside the classroom. This one simple action caused a massive chain reaction to occur, sending the entirety of both these schools into online learning.

All of the strides we have been making forward with this pandemic have been huge. Even with the positive outlook of having vaccines, it is prevalent, now more than ever, that we continue to mask up. 

If we all can continue pushing forward by following COVID-19 guidelines, we’ll be able to reach our end goal of herd immunity in no time. 

For more information contact Anna Baustert at [email protected]