Personal freedom, required masks in contention

Wearing facemasks has become a contentious argument in students’ as some feel it takes away personal choice. Others feel it protects people from the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this spring, businesses, and government buildings issued requests for people to wear masks upon entering. This led to mandates enacted by state and local governments. Public discourse grew throughout the summer as people moved into their collective political corners. refusing to back down or listen to one another regarding the need for face masks. The debate lingers on as schools across the country scramble with back to school plans. The country went to war with something unlike anything faced in over a hundred years, and war requires sacrifice. This virus does not care about political ideology or personal opinions. To defeat this enemy, people must work together with health professionals, and look to science as a weapon. Students at Brown County Schools need to set aside viewpoints and embrace the need to wear facemasks. Eagles have an important role to play to keep everyone together this school year.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advocates for the use of face coverings as a primary means to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield states, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally within a community setting.”

     Studies show that masks severely limit the amount of droplets spread by talking, sneezing, and coughing. Evidence proves face masks can prevent the spread in areas where an infection has taken place. Two hair salons in Missouri were used as a case study by the CDC. A strict following of local face mask ordinance found that none of the 139 customers showed symptoms, and all of the 67 who tested came back negative. This shows how infection may slow or even stop within a building. Brown County Schools may have to deal with positive cases. However, students may take comfort in knowing that wearing masks will help protect them. 

For large sporting events, policies requiring face masks keep athletes and spectators safe. A large cross country event at Terre Haute took place on August 15. The announcer reminded all athletes and spectators to wear masks at all times, except for when the runners started their assigned race. Coaches and staff worked together to make sure this event was safe. All teams camped far from each other to minimize contact when they were not racing. Other than the new regulations, the event proceeded as planned.  This event sets the stage for what all Eagles athletes will face this year. People must set aside differences and acknowledge the need to wear face masks.

With masks, students of Brown County may participate in school, and outside activities once again. Without masks, it would likely switch to a full online year. Members must understand, even with the inconveniences of masks, they do allow us to be together, and as long as the policy stays in place, we must wear them. Even if they only slightly reduce spread, we must wear them. No matter one’s views on masks, we need to stop fighting each other, and fight the true enemy that stripped away our school year.



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