Mask or No Mask? Whatever You Want at Chamblee

Sarah Marcus, Staff Writer

Masks, masks, masks. Ever since March 2020, these captivating pieces of fabric have taken over our lives, and continue to affect them today.

With the mask mandate lifted in April 2021, Chamblee students and teachers have had time to create personal opinions about mask wearing.

“I don’t really feel the need to wear a mask anymore,” said junior Ansley Harrison (‘24). “I feel safe at school with COVID.”

Many students and teachers share this opinion, and are pretty secure going unmasked at school. An unscientific visual survey of classes this week indicates 10-15 percent of students are choosing to wear masks in the building. At the same time, many teachers have reported students out sick – with COVID or something else – in most of their classes.

“I’m not at all worried about getting sick at school,” said Chamblee junior Aidan Harron (‘23). “During the time that COVID was really big, I think I wore a mask less than anyone I know, but yet, I never got COVID. That just goes to show they aren’t really as effective as people make them out to be.”

Other students and teachers do not feel as confident in the insufficiency of masks, and are not taking any chances.

“I don’t want COVID, but I’m pretty protected. More importantly, I don’t want to take it home to my family. I could live with it if I got myself sick, but I wouldn’t be happy if my family got sick,” said Theresa Abernathy, a world history teacher at Chamblee.

Some students follow in their teachers’ leads and imitate their careful behavior.

“I guess I still wear a mask for protection, but I feel pretty safe at school,” said Chamblee sophomore An-Ying Xu (‘25). “I’m not really worried about getting sick.”

Lots of students believe in both mask mindsets, and are considerate of how their wellness affects other people at school.

“I have the sniffles right now, but I usually don’t wear a mask. Today, that’s all,” said freshman Dani Singapuri (‘26).

If someone is feeling sick but doesn’t have COVID, it is more common now to see them taking extra precautions.

“If someone is coughing then, yes, I’m worried about getting sick,” said Harrison. “Coughing is a bigger deal now because COVID can kill people.”

Regardless of the COVID death rates, it seems as if many people believe that getting COVID is no longer the end of the world.

“I would say covid is better because it’s not as deadly and it’s more safe for everyone,” said Xu.

Even with the stress of getting seriously sick from covid being somewhat relieved, COVID is still an issue.

“We’re still increasing in COVID [cases], but I think people have a better chance to survive now with all the boosters and shots and everything,” said Abernathy.

With this in mind, it also seems that people’s perception on wearing masks is swayed by the people around them. The less people someone knows with COVID, the less serious people take it.

“Personally, I don’t know anyone that has gotten COVID recently, so I guess it is getting better,” said Harron.

Wearing masks is – and probably will stay – a controversial topic. It is clear that most people are aware of this, and have decided to compromise with other ideas.

“At this point, I feel like it’s everybody’s individual choice to wear a mask. I mean, I would prefer more people wearing them, but I’m not gonna tell anybody else what to do at this point,” said Abernathy.

Most Chamblee students and teachers have put the issue to rest, and respect everyone’s differentiating opinions.

“I personally am comfortable and I believe that’s it’s your choice If you want to wear a mask,” said Harrison.

Whether someone wears masks or not, it is important that Chamblee is a place where everyone can express what they believe in and feel safe in this school.

“I think the Chamblee community has done a good job of containing COVID so far, so heck yeah I feel safe at school,” said Singapuri.