Some Students Not Wearing Masks Properly

Lindsey Branga ('22), Orbit Contributor

Despite a mask requirement enacted for all Reading Public Schools students, some students who attend RMHS are not wearing their face masks correctly.

Across the Reading Public Schools,  students and staff are expected to wear face coverings as soon as they enter the school to keep everyone safe from Covid-19. The Covid-19 virus has been spreading from person to person since the winter of 2020. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus which is spread through an infected person’s saliva, droplets, and coughs. As of September 21, only 67.5% of the Massachusetts population has been vaccinated. The vaccine is 95% effective, meaning that a vaccinated individual still holds a small chance of catching the virus.

Biology and Anatomy teacher Ms. Dalby stated “It’s very common for students–not all–but the students who don’t–(they) just wear it  below their nose.”  Letting air out of the nose is allowing respiratory droplets to enter the air. Not covering the nose when one would wear a mask is just like not wearing a face covering at all. In order to wear a mask properly, one must cover both their mouth and their nose. 

However, the students who don’t wear their masks properly, or those who remove it at times, have a different perspective on wearing face coverings. These students find masks uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and find it difficult to speak and breathe while wearing a mask. In order to work around this, they decide to take it off or let it rest under their nose so they can breathe properly, potentially exposing themselves and others to the virus. 

When asked on their opinion of wearing masks, Ms. Dalby replied, “It might be different for others in the building, but we all have our own agenda for what is important for us. Like I have three little kids at home who are not vaccinated under the age of 10. If I get infected (and transmit it to them), they would get more sick than I would.” 

There are plenty of students that are at high risk of getting sick if they catch the virus or who live with someone who is at high risk. If worn over the mouth and nose, masks, including surgical face masks, are an effective way to stop the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses to others, according to the Centers for Disease Control.