Do You Want Massachusetts to Lift Mask Mandates in Public Schools?
It's turned into a daily routine. As students continue to test positive for Covid, my son takes an at-home Covid test. If he's negative, he can go into class for the day. We put on his mask, drop him off, and like all parents in Berkshire County, hope he has a good day in addition to not contracting Covid.
Parents are exhausted. Teachers are exhausted. I'm exhausted. But, at the same time, I'm 100% on board for wearing masks, and helping keep those around me safe. In addition, Massachusetts has a state-wide mask mandate for wearing masks in public schools that currently runs through February 28th.
I mention this because yesterday (2/7/22), the governors of four states, including Connecticut, said that they plan to lift statewide mask mandates for public schools either by the end of February or March, depending on how quickly the Omicron variant continues to burn itself out.
My gut tells me that Massachusetts won't be far behind in lifting that mandate, based on what Governor Baker has said. My gut also tells me that while the mandate will be lifted, it will be left to the individual school districts on whether or not to keep enforcing masks.
To be fair, it's all still speculation at the time of me writing this. That said, how do you feel if the mask mandate was lifted in public schools in Berkshire County?
Honestly, I'm torn. On one hand, I don't want to move too fast. I feel we moved too fast last year, and sure enough we went back to wearing masks. On the other hand, I don't think Covid is ever going away at this point, and different variants will probably pop up. At some point in time we have to simply move on. But, do we not have a responsibility to protect the more vulnerable in our society, and is wearing masks in school really that big of a deal if it means helping to protect those people?
While I support vaccines, masks in schools, and masks in public, I don't pretend to have answers. I'm also glad I'm not in a position to have to make hard decisions about mask mandates. In the meantime, we'll continue to test our son and ourselves for Covid, put him in a mask, and hope and trust for the best, like all parents in Berkshire County.
What are your thoughts on potentially ending mask mandates in schools? Should Governor Baker follow what Connecticut and other nearby states are doing?