Students free from mask mandate but many still chose to wear them



Mirella Bennett, Kit Carson International Academy

Students and schools in the Sacramento City School District have been impacted by the Covid-19 epidemic ever since March 13, 2020 when district schools closed down for five months and three weeks. They all officially reopened on Sept. 2, 2021. Nearly nine months after the reopening students had the choice to choose to wear a mask or not while attending school in person.

The surprising thing? Quite a lot of students still do wear masks.

While some expected the end of the mask mandate in Sacramento City Schools (April 18) to be the end of students wearing masks, many students walking the halls of Kit Carson International Academy still chose to wear them.

The reasons for masking or not masking vary, with many students taking in account their friends’ choices, comfortability, or even personal insecurities.’

Freshman Eli Sayre takes a very simple view on Covid-19 and why he isn’t a fan of masking.

“The masks are uncomfortable and the (Covid) numbers are relatively low,” Sayre said.

He went on to explain that he once got a rash on his ears which he believes could be from the masks.

“It showed up one day and was really irritating.”

Freshman Micah and  sophomore Levi Thurston both still mask despite the mandate being lifted. They said most of both of their friends still wear masks and Micah mentioned that he’s gotten “used to it” and that he often wears a mask without thinking.

Levi said, “Masks are one of our most effective tools to help prevent Covid.”

Many students who don’t choose to wear a mask any longer made the point that they believe that Covid-19 is much less of a concern now, citing numbers and claims from people they respect or look up to.

In response to a question about if she wears a mask or not during school. 9th grader
Bonnie Rose said, “No, I’m safe. I trust in the staff and teachers here at Kit Carson and I think
the school in general is not a very at-risk place to be.”

When asked about her friends and how many of them chose to mask Rose said that it’s possibly a good 70/20 non-masking to

Niomi Harris, an 8th grader in her second year at Kit Carson, also made the decision not to wear a mask. She said many of her friends don’t wear them and Covid has become less worse than it was. Adding to those facts she uttered a common complaint against the masks, “Plus, it’s really hard to breathe.”

Some people like 9th graders Tyler Wood Hull and Ava Sayer don’t mask all the time but do it depending on occasion. Sayer said that she doesn’t really know why she masks sometimes and not others, that it’s a mix of preference and safety.

Tyler has specific reasoning to his mixed masking. “Yes inside but not outside. I feel like in general it’s safer to do it inside but
there’s not much of a risk in the quad (Kit Carson’s outdoor eating area and center of campus).”

Seventh grader Natalia Pulido, in her first year at Kit Carson, always wears a mask. When asked about it she expressed feelings of concern about people seeing her face as well as Covid-19’s spread and all of her friends wearing one.

Sophomore Isabella Dameron doesn’t wear a mask for a reason none of the other non-maskers had mentioned. “I used to wear a mask before,” Dameron said “But I got Covid recently and so now I don’t.”

When asked about if she believed the school was safe from Covid-19 she said,. “Yes, of course it is.”

Many students who have worn masks for a long time said they have gotten a connection to them, almost like a security blanket. For 8th graders Sofia Perez and Sienna Purda they half-joke about feelings of insecurity without a mask.

“I just got used to it,” said Perez.

“Me too,” says Purda, “Also, I’d feel naked without them. And everyone would see my double chin!”