Finally Mask Free

On March 15, after a year of being required to wear a mask on campus, I was finally able to see the lower half of my teacher’s faces; finally able to smile at my classmates as I passed them in the hall; and finally felt like life is returning to a pre-pandemic normal.

It’s been two years since mask mandates were put in place in California to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but since last Monday, schools are not requiring them for students and staff. 

Returning back to pre-COVID-19 life starts with taking my mask off. Laughing and talking with each other maskless students is symbolic of California winning its battle against COVID-19. 

According to the California All, the average positive rate in California on March 17, is 1.5% while at the height of the pandemic — December 2021 — positive cases were at 15.9%. Through protocols like mask mandates, California has made progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19, making it easier to worry less about our health, and focus more on our partial victory over the virus. 

Although there are still many COVID-19 guidelines in place (like getting tested after exposure or vaccine-proof/negative tests to travel), dropped mask mandates are a step in the right direction to eradicating COVID-19 and returning back to life pre-pandemic.