By: Natalia Angeles
With East Los Angeles College students returning to on-campus lectures, one can not help but question whether this decision will put students at risk against COVID-19. Having a mask on campus is a great idea. Not only does it help prevent the spread of the virus, but it protects the community we live in.
The Los Angeles Health Department has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases but the Delta Variant has alamared many Angelenos. Governor Gavin Newsom is aware of the struggle that students go through when learning remotely. “Those kids are falling through the cracks, and we have all the support in the world,” Newsom said.
Newsome is entirely right, as a first generation college student it has been tough to navigate a new chapter in my life remotely.
ELAC and all of Los Angeles Community College District campuses are taking safety precautions very seriously. The use of a mask is not a barrier to student’s learning.
Students should be grateful that some classes are in person in order to seek guidance in a course. Masks not only protect students from contacting COVID-19, but also demonstrates care for the community of East Los Angeles College.
Regardless of vaccination status, a mask mandate should not harm the way students should approach their learning. Of those who decide not to wear a mask on school grounds some may believe that it will be hard for face identification and verbal or nonverbal communication. That is quite foolish. Simply because masks do not prevent students from engaging in conversations and furthering their communication skills.
Referring back to the online school, many younger students have suffered to learn through a computer. Thankfully, with a mask mandate it has allowed not only younger students but students overall to focus on their education at the comfort of their campus.
Those who refuse to get vaccinated and wear masks on campus are what is stalling the success of students. The school board meetings have gotten out of control. Leigh-Allyn Baker, former Disney Star stated at Williamson County School Board meeting, “I would never put them in a mask because their brains need oxygen to grow, which the neurologists can confirm.” Parents like her or the general anti maskers keep harming the learning environment for their children. Their ignorance to wear a mask to protect others from a deadly virus showcases their selfishness.
The CDC has come out with various statements saying that they, “recommend universal indoor masking, for all students, teachers, staff, and visitors to K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status.” While other schools in the East Coast such as Florida have come out with various refusals to wear masks.
Governor Ron DeSantis came out with a statement saying, “No surprise here, the 1st DCA has restored the right of parents to make the best decisions for their children. I will continue to fight for parents’ rights.” People, especially parents, will keep refusing to be labeled as sheep.
As I start to take courses at ELAC, I will not use my vaccination status to exempt me from wearing a mask. Even if I have been vaccinated for the past 4 months, I take the safety of my fellow peers very seriously. I know that being in close contact with many people due to my job can put me at a high risk of giving COVID-19 to those who are not vaccinated yet.
As much as we would like others to look out for a community, there is so much we can do to alert them of this virus. There has been no encounter with those that refuse to wear masks. The learning community that I am surrounded by showcases their voices about how masks help them feel comfortable.
As ELAC students continue in person classes it is important for students to remember to keep their masks on at all times. In order for students to succeed all ELAC students need to take the safety precautions to secure more courses open in person.
Mask mandates in schools will only increase opportunities for students to learn in person. The more awareness that is centered towards masks on campus, the more people will be encouraged to wear one.
If you have any concerns on where students need to wear masks on campus sites, visit