Unmasking the Consequences

Some schools have been forced to quarantine only hours after the first bell rang. The easy part is wanting to keep the students and staff safe, but how one accomplishes that is the hard part.


Beatriz Warnes

Illinois has released state guidelines that mandate students to wear masks at school if districts want to continue in-person classes.

A controversial topic amidst the pandemic has been whether or not people of the United States need to be wearing masks while out in public. One woman in Pennsylvania believes that they reduce your oxygen intake, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) says that masks have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC also recommends that schools require face masks because they, “prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face-covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.”


A student spends most of their life inside a school building. Students are at school up to eight hours a day others all over town. They walk the same halls, complete the same assignments and befriend the same people. This fall, those same students are those that will change the course of history depending on one simple thing: a piece of fabric.


“I wouldn’t have a problem wearing a mask or other people wearing masks because I’m not worried about getting COVID-19, I’m worried about giving it to someone who wouldn’t be able to fight it,” senior Sarah Reimer said.


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has made it known that for all schools that have in-person classes, “Masks or face shields will be required to be worn by all faculty, staff, and students,” according to Antioch Community High School’s reopening plan


“I think that it’ll be nice to get back into school even though we are gonna have to wear masks,” senior Thomas Williams said. “It’ll be a challenge to wear them for seven hours straight, but I’d rather be in school than [do] e-learning for my senior year.”


With the day ACHS plans on opening its doors, one cannot help but wonder how other schools have dealt with the pandemic. The New York Times reported that Cherokee County in Georgia was met with over one thousand students having to be quarantined or sent home due to students not complying with regulations and the state not having strict guidelines.