Mixed Opinions on Mask Mandates


Most recent covid tracking information (SOURCE: COVID.cal.gov)

Rebecca Wilson, Staff Reporter

Mask mandates have been a divisive topic since the beginning of the pandemic. While some see them as guidelines meant to slow the spread and keep people safe, others have criticized them as overarching and invasive. I understand the frustrations with mask mandates, but I believe that they are important to help keep the local community safe and healthy.

The first mandatory mask order was announced June 2020 during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, roughly three months after Long Beach Unified District schools closed. Since re-opening in late 2021, California schools have all been under a mandatory mask mandate that requires students and staff to wear masks when indoors and in large outdoor gatherings. Those mandates officially ended on Mar. 14, 2022.

Millikan is a very big school. We have roughly 3,500 students here at any given day. I believe that wearing masks indoors and regularly washing our hands is the best way to help stop the spread here at school.

Students can come in any period during class and take a mask from the office front desk

“Taking down the mask mandate inside is fine to me,” said a Millikan student who asked to remain anonymous. “I’m going to keep wearing a mask since I feel safer wearing one. Ideally, I’d want others to wear a mask too, but it’s their choice.”

Another student who also asked to remain anonymous said that, “I’m probably going to continue wearing a mask just because it’s safer, but we shouldn’t force other people to wear a mask when they don’t want to.”

According to COVID-19, a government-run website that tracks Coronavirus data, California has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with 83.5% of the state’s population vaccinated as of Mar. 14, 2022. Positive COVID cases have reportedly been steadily declining since Jan.. The website reports an average of 3,407 daily cases and 109 daily deaths in California. 

Only time will tell whether or not cases will continue to decline or if they’ll rise again. Students and families are encouraged to regularly check the LBUSD COVID-19 Resources & Information page for any future mask and COVID related updates. I, along with many other students, will be continuing to wear my mask inside and social distancing at school when possible and I encourage others to do this as well.