Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by David Shaw
With the unfortunate 2020 coronavirus pandemic now under control in the United States and more countries owing to the arrival of vaccines, the Fall of 2021 begins to look more promising for the start of a new chapter for in-person classes. Although the future still lies a handful of pandemic-related complications, it is no doubt students are looking forward to transitioning back to in-person classes by following the appropriate safety guidelines.
Will in-person classes require students to wear a mask?
As a general measure, students should expect face masks to be required or worn during in-person classes as a courtesy and responsibility to keep people safe in schools. With renowned universities still awaiting vaccination mandates for vaccination from the FDA, wearing masks for in-person fall classes will help keep students safe.
Mandatory Face Masks Mandates In Universities
With the state of California catching news headlines for plans to lift mask mandates in June followed by 14 states in the US that have already done so as of April 2021, this next question puts academic intuitions in the spotlight.
As for the possibility of face mask mandates, universities will not likely impose such mandates as suggested by CDC’s guideline recommendation for vaccinated individuals. However, expect faculties and school boards to heavily advocate the practice of using face masks by everyone as most vaccines are not approved for use of children below the age of 12 as of June 2021. Additionally, remarks on “physical distancing, mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing and cleaning will continue to be crucial for daily campus life,” were addressed by the University of California Office after noting the fact an increasing number of people are expected to return to UC locations.
By then, the point behind the continuing practice of using face masks is mainly to protect those who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus. Also, keep in mind not everyone’s health is eligible to take the vaccine by Fall, so we should not conjecture non-vaccinated individuals as not covid-conscious and lecture them about getting the vaccine.
Recommended Face Masks
As face masks will still likely be part of our daily norm, is it helpful to understand more about face masks to choose the right one for you. Choosing the correct and effective masks with the appropriate specifications will continue to help protect everyone.
Other than merely choosing masks made of single-layered cloth without filters, I think we can do better by looking at the appropriate reusable or disposable masks that have more safety features.
Here’s a look at a few commercial face masks you can find on Amazon:
Reusable Face Mask Adult Size Unisex with Filter Pocket – This is an affordable washable mask that can be reused by only changing the carbon filter pads which can be used up to around 16-24 hours per use. For day-to-day use around campus or in public while maintaining a low profile appearance, this is the ideal choice of mask for you.
AIRINUM Lite Air Mask – For a more well-built and more stylish designed mask, Airinum’s mask offers better comfort and durability that also comes with filter pockets. Offering in different colors and sizes for all gender and ages, Airinum’s mask is a perfect reusable mask for day-to-day use if you don’t mind paying a little extra.
KF94 Protective Masks – This ergonomic “Korean Filter” designed mask is widely used around Korea and Apple employees. KF94s have an adjustable bridge that can be manipulated to get a secure fit over the bridge of your nose and chin, along with side flaps to contour to your face which helps close the gaps around the face to limit unfiltered air entry. Filtering up to 95% of airborne particles, it is among the best types of disposable masks to protect against Covid-19 while maintaining a professional appearance.
KF94 Protective Masks – KF94 masks in Black color. Widely used in Korea and Apple employees. Filters up to 95% of airborne particles while offering users a professional appearance.
Disposable 3-Ply Face Masks – The most common disposable surgical mask in the market consisting of 3 filtration layers. Although they look the same, the quality among different manufacturers makes the difference, make sure to avoid surgical masks with poor built quality and materials. Click the link to visit this item in the Amazon store for more info and reviews by customers. This is the ideal choice for students looking for a lower-cost option.
Adapting to the New Norm
I believe most of the people alive today have never experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic before. Again, there’s still a lot of things to learn and from past mistakes since the beginning of the pandemic by making false assumptions and arrogance acknowledge the science behind medical recommendations and procedures. Nonetheless, let’s talk about the present and future on how we can better accommodate people who survived the virus or lost loved to the virus.
- Don’t challenge the science or business policies
Wear a mask when you’re told by authorities! When a service, business, or place requires a mask or vaccination, don’t make a fuss over it. There is no other way around laws that keep people safe and put the public’s health into consideration. If people or a place turn you away for not following the coronavirus prevention measures, respect their terms and policy or follow their request.
- Don’t make blunt jokes about covid with strangers
Like I’ve mentioned before, we never know if someone has lost a friend or a family member to the coronavirus. The last thing we want to do is throw out blunt and insensitive comments or jokes about the coronavirus as it could potentially hurt their feelings and leave a really bad impression for them. I believe we’ve seen enough stories to avoid committing this mistake, so always be sensitive when around this topic. Bring light out the situation with sensible or rational remarks or even jokes and don’t hurt other people feeling careless.
- Get vaccinated and spread awareness.
Since the start of the pandemic, the unfortunate events and data of fatalities are evident enough of the risk and dangers of the covid-19 virus. Don’t be fooled by low death rates, it is only achievable due to the convenient access to frontliners and technology in the medical field that makes them low.
Still, a high survival rate still does not cover the fact that you are safe, the covid-19 is currently still evolving and can take away people’s like in a matter for some cases.
There is no need to argue further with anti-vaxxers about the risks, share your thoughts instead because eventually, the outcome of their decision is out of our control. For more informed guideless and information on the latest news and development of Covid-19 vaccines, visit the CDC’s vaccine webpage to informed and updated.
- Condemn fake vaccine news
What we currently still need is to advocate for more people to get vaccinated and not discourage them by spreading false information. In this digital age, it is easy to let media manipulate and filter what we see on the internet.
Fake news in the form of internet articles phish a good amount of internet traffic, when more people click and read the article on the web through Facebook or Twitter, those websites convert the traffic into money.
To better identify and call out on a fake article, here are good tips to quickly fact check for a reliable or fraud news source:
1. Flooded or unrelated ads on the news articles.
2. Outdated or irrelevant date of the article
3. No similar article topic from Google search queries
4. Bad or zero reputation or familiarity of article website
Here’s also a video on how to fact check internet sources:
When Will Things go back to normal
Owing to this Covid-19 pandemic, things might not go back to ‘normal’ anytime soon at least until the end of 2022. Experts predict things to be only back to normal starting 2024 or later for international travel accommodations as other countries as still lagging behind their vaccination programs.
With that said, we should contribute the fair share to continue spreading public awareness to get people vaccinated and achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible. We’re talking no mask without guilt in public, and complete international traveling kind of ‘normal’. Until everyone is safe, no one is safe.
By simply getting vaccinated and wearing a mask at appropriate times, we are simply making the front liner’s job easier and the covid chain break faster. If we want things to return back to normal, or perhaps start traveling, let’s work together to achieve this goal of eradicating covid-19 as a whole community.
To follow more updates on university policies on coronavirus safety measures, check out the University of California’s Vaccination Program Policy or your university’s website for more info.