Mask On, Forget It, Mask Off


Steve Moreno, Reporter

New Jersey- After the holiday season, COVID rates were increasing due to the Omicron variant. In early January, after Governor Phil Murphy’s school mask mandate from last year was set to expire, he pleaded to extend the mandate. 

How has this and how will it affect teachers, students, and parents. 

Bhoomi Patel, the school-wide president of PASE, and Mrs. Harries-Gonzales a sociology teacher at PASE, have not been thrilled about the mask mandate for schools but both understand why they are necessary.  

¨I want to see people’s faces and what they look like so in the future I would be able to recognize them. But It’s good to wear masks in the school because we do come across many people here and it protects us from getting covid and possibly being sick¨ said Bhoomi. 

These sentiments were echoed by Harries-Gonzalez.

“It often gets warm and can sometimes be hard to breathe after teaching for long periods of time,” said Harries-Gonzales, “but I feel that if we are going to be in school, in person masks should be worn in order to help reduce the spread of Covid. I think the only way to try and make sure this is possible is to mandate that everyone has to wear them.”

Update: Since the completion of this article, there has been an update at the state level regarding masks. 

At Monday’s press conference, Governor Phil Murphy revealed that the mask mandate for schools will be lifted on March 7. 

School districts can still mandate the wearing of masks; however, it will no longer be enforced on the state level. 

This update now opens the door for more questions: Is the Governor following the science or political science? Why not sooner or later than March 7?

You decide. Comment below with your thoughts.