by Morgan Brook
With the new mask mandate, there are many mixed feelings about it, however there are also many students around the Kent State Trumbull Campus who feel relief. Some feel that it is helping life feel more normal again being able to not have a mask on. While others do not like the mask mandate lift. There are still mask mandates while in the classroom, but the restriction has been lifted outside of the classroom in places such as the cafeteria, library, student union, and in the hallways. I have interviewed students that are on campus at Kent State Trumbull to see what their feelings are on the lifted mask mandate. I asked all the students the same questions:
1.) How do you feel about the mask mandate being lifted?
2.) Do you feel unsafe health wise?
3.) Do you agree with the lift?
4.) Are you happy that they lifted the mandate?
5.) If you were responsible for making the decisions on mask mandates, what would you do?
Student number one said; she feels pretty good with the mask mandate lifted. She does not feel her health is at risk. She does agree with the lifted mandate and feels it would have made her more comfortable if it were lifted earlier. If she was responsible for making the decisions on the mandate, she also would have lifted it.
Student number two said, “I feel like it was time for the mask mandate to be lifted because at this point, everyone has made the decision based on their health to be vaccinated or not and based off of health, people can choose if they would like to wear a mask or not.” She does not feel safe or unsafe, she is vaccinated so that brings her comfort in making her feel safer. Because of that, she said she feels as if she should not have to wear a mask anymore. She said she did her part by getting vaccinated, but she will still wear her mask in high trafficked areas as well as around elderly and people who are immune compromised. She does agree with the lift because she said at this point, people should be able to decide for themselves if they want to wear the mask or not. She is happy they lifted the mandate but feels it should still be in place in high trafficked areas. She said it helps the world feel normal again. Finally, she said that if she oversaw the decisions, she would leave it up to the individual. She said at this point, she feels as if students already know if they want to wear the mask or not, therefore let the students decide what is best for them.
Student number three said, she feels that the mask mandate lift was a good idea since case numbers are decreasing. She does not feel unsafe health wise. If she is in a situation where she feels unsafe health wise, she would wear a mask for her protection as well as the people who are around her. She does agree with the mandate being lifted and she thinks it makes campus life easier for students. She feels that it is much easier now to speak to people without a mask. She also thinks it helps to be able to see faces around campus. If she was in charge of making the decisions around campus about masks, she would have done everything that was already done meaning, she would push and enforce the mandate when case numbers are increasing, and she would not push it if cases were decreasing. She also stated, “No one likes wearing masks but I feel the health of others and the stopping of COVID-19 should be the only things that are considered when having a mandate.
Student number four said, she does not mind the mandate being lifted on campus because they mandated the vaccine, and if everyone (or most people) are vaccinated it should be safe to go without masks. She said that most teachers still require students to sit apart as well as sanitizing the desks in the classroom before sitting down. She does not feel unsafe heath wise because she has the vaccine, and if it does its job correctly, she should be safe. Regarding the mandated lift, she could go either way. She said she still must wear a mask at work, and it doesn’t bother her at all. She is very mellow about the situation. She said she likes masks, but she also is okay without them. If she oversaw making the mandated call, she would keep them mandated for the rest of the semester, but at the beginning of the fall semester, she would them make them optional for students.
Student number five said she agrees and likes that the mask mandate was lifted. She does not all feel unsafe health wise with the mandate being lifted. She also said, “I’m tired of wearing them all of the time so the mandate makes her happy.” If she was in charge of making the decision, she would choose to let the people on campus decide if they want to wear them or not so it is their choice and not up to someone else.
Student number six said, He feels safe and positive about the mask mandate being lifted. He feels that the length of time in the mask mandate gave everyone enough time to prepare and be safe and get vaccinated to help protect himself and others. He does not at all feel unsafe with the mask mandate being lifted. He has taken precautionary measures and accommodated himself with more than enough time to prepare himself for a time like this, where the mandates are beginning to be lifted. He states, “I strongly agree with the lift, I agree it was time for change, also because this still gives staff and facilities the opportunity to wear masks and protect themselves if they feel unsafe with the decision to lift the mandate.” He said he is happy with the mandate being lifted and he says he feels like his freedom is finally being returned to normal. If he was in charge of making the decisions regarding the mask mandates, He would follow the footprints of what has already been done. He also would go off what rules the Governor had put into place. He said that he would have the mandates much sooner than they were introduced despite the fact of the COVID-19 cases being high or low. He feels confident that the pandemic would have resulted in a much faster recovery time.
Overall, many of the students felt safe with the mask mandate being lifted. The majority also said that if they were in a predicament where they felt unsafe or at risk, they would put their mask on. Many also safe that being vaccinated helps them feel safer and at ease. They feel as if they did their part and the mandate being lifted feels as if it is a reward for taking safety precautions such as getting vaccinated, wearing a mask for extended period of times, and social distancing. There are solutions if students are in situations where they do not feel comfortable, which helps the students feel at ease with the new mask mandates.