The end of the mask mandate: the peoples’ opinions

2022 Satire Issue


Students being able to gather happily with masks on. Photo retrieved from Google Images.

Maia Voegel, Starbucks Junkie and Proficient Procrastinator

On Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, the indoor mask mandate for higher education across Illinois was lifted. Students and faculty all around the Lake Land College (LLC) campus attended class with a mask-optional mindset beginning March 1. 

LLC lifted the indoor mask mandate for students and faculty based upon the Governor’s guidance as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Coles County Health Department, though still enforcing the vaccine mandates and the mandatory testing if not vaccinated. 

Many Lakers feel that the mask mandate ending is a big relief and are not going to continue wearing a mask because of various reasons. Students have varying opinions on the subject but feel that it is a relief and are loving not having to wear a mask anymore. When asked if they were going to continue to wear a mask, many students said no, and similar responses were given from faculty. 

Lydia Craig, one of the Composition and Language professors at LLC said, “I teach language courses and my students do better when they can see and hear me speak … seeing my face helps my students connect better, I think.”

Craig also said that she “[has] taken all the CDC recommended precautions already” when asked whether she will unmask or not. 

Ava Stephens, an education major at LLC, shares her feelings on the mask mandate being released by saying, “I am excited to return to some normalcy. I feel like as a nation, we need to move past COVID because it will always be around, so we just need to move on.” 

Contrastingly, Ashley Finney, a nursing major, stated, “I feel it is a stupid and dangerous act. COVID is still rampant, and our vaccine levels are low. This could easily cause another surge.”

When asked if students feel they have adequate knowledge of LLC’s protocols on the pandemic and knowledge about COVID in general, many students in the healthcare field said that they feel they do. However, many others said that they did not but knew where to find them as needed. A minority said that they did not, based upon media bias and inaccurate information in and around social media and media in general. Contrastingly, many students stated that they are aware of the protocols regarding testing and vaccine mandates around LLC campus. 

Lisa Shumard-Shelton, the Director of Student Life, shared her feelings on how COVID affected student activities: “It affected everything, and affected student life in many ways. It constricted the ability to meet in person… and [the protocols and guidance] are constantly changing. The current Lake Land student body, that has now had two years of COVID, has not gotten to experience the social connection that we pride ourselves on here at Lake Land.” 

She also felt that the mask mandate release is going to positively affect clubs and student life at LLC, and allow students to again have that social connection that has been restricted over the past two years. 

Overall, the mask mandate release is a breath of relief for students and faculty across Lake Land’s campus, and they feel that things are starting to turn a corner into a new normal. 

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