By: Hajir Hasan, Sullivan Sophomore, and Oluwanifemi Onifade, Sullivan Sophomore
On Jan. 19, Sullivan decided to distribute masks during 2nd period. They decided to give out KN95 masks to students and teachers in order to better protect them from the spread of COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant.
Wearing your mask correctly is a simple and effective technique to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Particularly the Omicron variant, which spreads rapidly, according to the Centers of Disease and Prevention.
Last month, Sullivan High School provided KN95 masks as well as a short video about the importance of masks in what shapes and sizes they come in, which is best, and how to properly wear them.
Principal Chad Thomas told students, “The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and all of us is to wear a mask but not just any mask. The KN95 is the most effective mask that you could wear. Doing this will protect yourself and others from COVID.”
In the video, Thomas also talked about other safety measures in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“If you are sick please stay home. You don’t know if it’s the flu or COVID-19, but please if you are sick just stay home.”
Thomas also said that the absences of being sick are excused and that people who are at home have access to school work as long as you are well enough to work.
The video went on further to highlight the recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccine and testing.
Students were also shown a presentation in their various science classes on different types of masks and the level at which they help to protect from COVID.
Many people had differing viewpoints on the subject, especially since Sullivan says they will give KN95 masks every Tuesday.
Rakeesha Wrigley, a 10th grade English teacher, said, “Medical masks are tighter to the face.”
Wearing masks that fit around the face makes them more effective than cloth.
Wrigley believes that we should respect everybody’s body regarding the vaccine, but to those who are not vaccinated, she stated, “Submit to weekly testing and wear the mask consistently.”
In response to whether or not KN95 masks should continue to be passed out, Ms. Reed, a student teacher at Sullivan, said, “The more access students have to them, the better. There may be circumstances preventing students from having access to better quality masks and if we require students to be in the building, then the least the school can do is provide quality safeguards for them.”
Brenda Callejas Luna, a 10th grade Sullivan student, said, “Wearing the KN95 mask is a good idea because they are the most effective mask.” She also added that they don’t have any gaps and fit your face which means that it provides coverage for more protection.
Will the use of KN95 masks reduce the spread of the Omicron variant in schools? The only way we can test this theory is if students actually wear the KN95 masks. Always wear your mask to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.