Students marvel over perceived irony of county mask mandate

Brandon Marinkovich ‘22, Sport Section Editor

This fall, as South Lyon High School (SLHS) students enter the building, masks are still covering the bottom half of their faces.  With the Oakland County Health Department mandating the use of masks, many students felt the need to “protest”. It is said that students were going to refuse the wearing of masks, and that they would not comply with any regulations set in place by school staff.  Still, every student at SLHS complied with the mask mandate on Sept. 7. That is over 1,000 students piled into our school, and upwards of 30 in each of our small classrooms. Ironically though, that following Friday, hundreds of students piled into the stands for the SLHS football game, maskless. This scenario has brought to attention the hypocrisy of the mask mandate that is set in place, and questions the effectiveness of it.

It is quite comical to see the hypocrisy in the county’s decision to enforce the usage of masks.  The Oakland county students are mandated to wear a mask in school, but are allowed to attend a football game where they are crammed together for over two hours, yet do not have to wear one because they are outside.

Having to wear a mask every day at school is not a problem for me, and I personally do not have an issue with it. I definitely wish I did not have to, but I am not one to complain. For me, the real problem is how inconsistent  the county’s guidelines are.  Forcing students to wear a mask, but once they step outside it is not a problem? It does not make sense to me. The county should not be able to enforce the usage of masks, as people should be given the choice of wearing a mask or not.

This blatant hypocrisy is a common topic of discussion among students. Senior Jacob Fischer states, “Student sections at sporting events are usually packed to the brim.” It is very odd, how regardless of what the students think or believe, the Oakland County Health Department still believes that it makes sense for students to wear masks indoors, as if said students were not spending time with each other outside of school, normally and likely maskless.

Also, the fact that seven students are allowed to sit at a lunch table right next to each other with no masks, is very counterintuitive to what the county believes is safe. Fischer also said. “[Our administrators] are perfectly fine with seven people sitting together, surrounded by many other unmasked people at once.”

The guidelines set in place, overall make the mask mandate feel quite, for a lack of a better word,  silly, as it seems that it is merely for appearances,, and not a real mandate that is keeping students safe. This is seen by a cold (not Covid)  that has come through SLHS,  keeping myself and my fellow classmates out of class for days at a time.  Senior Carson Martin recalls this cold, saying, ”It was easily the worst cold I had in my life. It took me nearly ten days to be healthy enough to come back to school”. Evidently, the rules that we are made to follow are not doing what is said to be the goal. Students are still waking up with other sicknesses that are transmitted through the air, just like Covid.

Overall, the mask mandate that has been set in place does not seem to be entirely necessary. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that roughly one in every one hundred thousand children ages 12-17 would be hospitalized from COVID-19. This, paired with 60 percent of the population being vaccinated in Oakland County, it seems that overall this mask mandate is not as necessary as the county seems to be making it.

Now, this does not mean that all mask usage is useless. Studies from the CDC have shown that cloth masks are beneficial for the general public to use. People who feel more comfortable with a mask should by all means wear a mask. There should be no judgement for those who choose to wear a mask, or in the same token, those who are vaccinated and then choose not to. One major lesson we all learned from this pandemic is that many people suffer from health problems that make COVID-19 much worse than it would be for a perfectly healthy person. One should have the choice of wearing a mask in school, as it is only fair to push students to form beliefs for themselves, based on facts and credible sources of information.

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