Maskholes: an Epidemic


Norrie Boyd

In order for masks to be effective, they have to cover both the mouth and the nose.

For the last two weeks, every time I’ve stepped into my math class Mr. Schenk has reminded the class to wear their masks correctly. Meaning we waste two precious minutes of precalculus every day to remind people, who are supposed to be fully formed adults in one year, to keep their masks over their noses. 

Since the beginning of COVID-19, people not wearing their masks correctly or not wearing their masks at all has prevented the reduction of COVID-19 cases across the country. School is no different. We are lucky to be back at school; don’t let wearing your mask under your nose prevent you from taking 15 minutes to get through the Spanish hallway. 

The biggest problem at our school (so far) is kids not wearing their masks over their noses. A group of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the COVID-19 virus is established first in your nasal cavity. This means the cells in your nose are more likely to get infected with COVID than cells in your lungs or throat. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t worry about COVID infiltrating your body through your throat, which can cause more severe diseases like pneumonia. 

Imagine that COVID-19 wasn’t a thing this year. Even in the absence of COVID-19 when kids flood back into school diseases like the common cold or the flu spread rapidly through the halls of Boulder High. Just the shift alone from being inside your room most of the summer to sharing intimate moments with the person sneezing two inches away from you in the math hallway is enough to strain your health. Knowing this you should be even more cautious of your immunity with the addition of a deadly pandemic this year. 

The point is that we are at risk. All of us people are still getting sick and the pandemic is still taking lives. Even if you have enough confidence in your immune system to combat COVID-19, it is important to recognize the risk you pose to others in the school. People with compromised immune systems who do not know it could be putting themselves at serious risk by being around people not correctly wearing their masks. 

I understand the constant mask reminders are tedious, but it’s all in good faith. Think about your friends, your favorite teachers, or Becky. Think of the health of all the people you love at this school and ask if you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself and everyone else safe.