Covid Causes Schools to Wear Masks for the Second Year

This+flyer+was+given+to+GM+students+through+social+media.+Photo+Credits%3A+Pennsylvania+Freedom+Alliance+

This flyer was given to GM students through social media. Photo Credits: Pennsylvania Freedom Alliance

Joseph Bucko, Reporter

     COVID has affected schools for the past three years now. This year the Pennsylvania government decided that students and staff, vaccinated or not, must wear masks. There are three sides to masks: either you hate it, you like it, or you don’t care. General McLane also has these different opinions.

     Erie county has an average of 97 cases weekly. Pennsylvania has had a total of 1.3 millions cases since the start of COVID. The United States has had a total of 41.8 millions cases. Worldwide there have been 219 millions cases. This information comes from the COVID news section on google. General McLane’s website has a COVID case counter and there are currently 81 people quarantined in the whole district and 21 in the High School with 8 active cases.

     GMHS students have  mixed opinions on wearing masks.  No one said that they necessarily liked them, but there were people who understood the importance of masks. Specific opinions ranged anywhere from “they’re stupid, “uncomfortable and annoying,” to “their necessary.” 

      Freshman Lianne Raymond states “I don’t like it that much. It’s kind of hard to communicate with people but I think it’s important to wear.” 

     Freshman Mason Morgan states “Well I mean I like it. I also don’t really like it because you can’t really hear people wearing masks.” Junior Ossian Glenn provided his opinion on the matter, stating “I think that it is a necessary protocol for everyone in the school to stay healthy and for the people that are vaccinated we should still wear masks”     

   Some students who are unhappy with the mask mandate expressed their opinion by participating in a walk out held on Friday, September 17.  Students learned about this protest which was dubbed the “Walk Out for Freedom” by a flyer that was circulating on social media by the Pennsylvania Freedom Alliance. The flyer read “Starting at 9am at schools across the state – students will walk out of their classrooms to protest excessive mask orders.” The number of students who protested is approximately 25 people. If the students refused to put their mask back on they would be asked to leave.

     Overall students seem to understand that masking is necessary to resume face to face full time instruction.  “I think they’re definitely some benefits to being in person, I personally found the hybrid beneficial because I could go one half without a mask and the second half more structured,” Glenn stated.

     Even though there are a good amount of students who are ready to be back full time there are definitely still some who think cyber is inevitable.

     When given the option to go back to cyber instruction or comply with masking, Morgan commented, “I would rather go back to cyber then wear masks because I’m lazy”