Taking a Break From Mask Breaks?


Murphy Ryan

At this point in the year, the word “Covid” resonates like a guitar out of tune. One of the most impactful things Covid has done to  students is change the school dynamic. A year ago, no individual could have predicted  homeschool lifestyle or that people now cover their faces like surgeons during an operation. Not only do students engage in discussions with  friends through plexiglass, but students have outdoor breaks that are refer to as “mask breaks.” In the beginning of the school year, students experienced a mask break (all students taking a walk outside to take masks off) in almost every class. Now that WHS is starting a new quarter, the trend of mask breaks is definitely rocky. Whether the teacher feels as though there is no time to squeeze it in or just simply forgets, many students are left wondering what happened with the breaks? The school rule is that the first block teacher implements a mask break for underclassmen and a third block teacher implements a mask break for upperclassmen; all other blocks are optional. 

Of students surveyed, 81% said that they had one mask break a day (most likely third block), and only five said that they had two a day. All students, however, answered that there were not enough mask breaks. Something teachers could think about doing is making it a priority to set aside two blocks a day for a break. Obviously safety and social distancing is a huge concern for the school, so letting kids do this on their own might get problematic, but based on the student body and sports teams, mask breaks are not only an escape for breathing and getting fresh air, but rather an escape from the anxiety of the hybrid model and stressful schoolwork.