CHS continues to mask up safely

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UNSPLASH PHOTO COURTESY OF JON TYSON

Due to COVID-19 concerns and precautions, students and staff are required to wear masks. Many have adapted to this ‘new-normal’ as others are still getting used to this new safety protocol. https://unsplash.com/license

Julia Homza

Masks mean different things to different people. For some, they have become a layer of protection, an inconvenience, an accessory, or a comfort. CHS students and staff are not exempt from this new normal.

“I know that with others and I wearing [masks] we are creating a safer environment for everyone,” said freshman Jordan Juliano of Long Branch. “And by wearing masks we may be saving a life.”

With the safety of students and staff in mind, schools across the county have different policies and procedures. Many other schools in Monmouth County are having half days that don’t include lunch, but CHS is on a regular schedule including lunch.

Sophomore Matt Wheeler of Wall said that “at lunch we are as spread out as we can be so I’m okay with it.”

Physics teacher Steve Godkin said that “If the masks make it less likely to spread COVID, then while there is a shortage of vaccines, I feel wearing them is the responsible thing to do.”

Even though masks have become a daily ritual for many, it doesn’t mean they can’t be forgotten.

“A couple weeks ago, I totally forgot that masks were even a thing,” said junior Lakshya Vegiraju of Marlboro. She recounted how she didn’t have a mask on for her entire bus ride to school or when she went through the temperature check at the front door. “I was walking down the hallway and suddenly it hit me. I just think it’s really funny that I unintentionally got past a bunch of staff without a mask on.”

US history teacher Bill Clark says that he does “feel safe in the classroom,” and that “the students have handled the entire process incredibly well.”

As vaccines roll out across the country and as students and teachers wait with hopeful anticipation for a new-new or an old normal, senior Danielle Hannah of Middletown acknowledges that a return to normalcy, specifically sans mask usage, might be easier said than done.

“I think at first it will be weird to not wear masks, because we’ve grown to rely on them, kind of like a safety blanket,” Hannah said. “But at the same time, as long as it’s safe, I’ll be thrilled to see all my friend’s beautiful faces again.”