Students should be mindful despite lifting mask mandates

Photo courtesy of Anna Schvets, Pexels.

On March 3, Ramapo College sent out an email with the subject “Campus Communication on Coronavirus” explaining how the college anticipates mask mandates will be lifted, allowing the institution to transition to a “face covering friendly” environment. In other words, starting on March 28, there is a possibility that wearing a mask in certain areas will no longer be required. 

According to the email, any person who plans to keep their mask on can do so without judgment. The email also states, “The transition to ‘face covering friendly’ will come with conditions because it may still be appropriate for a face covering to be worn in certain areas and under certain circumstances.”  

Many colleges around the state have already lifted their mask mandates, including Rutgers University where masks will be optional effective April 4. Seton Hall University, Princeton University and Rowan University are also following the trend.

It seems as though Ramapo does not want to completely get rid of the mask mandate. This could be due to the fact that students can still potentially catch or spread COVID-19. I am not against the mask mandate being lifted. We are going into our third year of this pandemic and with COVID-19 cases decreasing in New Jersey, lifting the mask mandate seems reasonable. 

Although I believe wearing a mask can help stop the spread of not only COVID-19, but also germs and viral infections such as the flu, I am not against lifting the mask mandate. If Ramapo does decide to remove this mandate, it is important to remind students and faculty members to practice washing their hands and taking care of themselves on a regular basis.    

It is no secret that vaccines are a strong way for us to prevent the spread of viruses. For many of us, the vaccine and booster shots have made a huge difference in our lives. Personally, being vaccinated, I do not feel as worried about catching or spreading COVID-19 compared to when I was not fully vaccinated. Even though being vaccinated does not mean I am 100% protected from the virus, I do not see a problem with Ramapo lifting the mandate for masks. 

Times are different from when the pandemic started. We are more informed about ways to stop the spread COVID-19 and how to keep ourselves safe from contracting the virus. Even though the majority of students and faculty members are vaccinated and boosted, it is important for everyone to continue doing their part in slowing down the spread of COVID, including washing your hands, wiping surfaces after being used and getting tested if showing symptoms or if you were exposed to the virus. 

I look forward to seeing what Ramapo decides about the mask mandate. If they do decide for the mask mandate to be lifted, I do not think the school will face any major issues.