On June 15th, California’s Governor Newsom dropped the original mask guidelines, meaning that masks are no longer required as long as one is fully vaccinated. Furthermore, restaurants, beaches, movie theaters, and other enclosed areas are now allowed to operate at full capacity. Yet, many stores and restaurants are following their original COVID-19 protocols and some people are still wearing their masks due to the fear of what may happen if face coverings are officially taken off. Teenagers are the most excited about these new guidelines, as they are now able to hang out with friends and, hopefully, able to go back to school in person.
The foremost important aspect of the new mask guidelines, from a teenager’s point of view, is the initial reaction of excitement. As the younger generation was prohibited from seeing their friends and teachers for more than a year and a half, the fact that everything is open and no masks are required, as long as the teenagers are vaccinated, is what thrills students the most. Newsom’s new law is essentially permission for the youth to go back outside. Saugus High School student, Noah Motherspaw, gives his intake on these new mask guidelines as one from the younger generation. He emphasizes the joy he felt on June 15th by saying, “I feel great about [the new mask guidelines] to be honest, I like it because everything is starting to feel normal again and I can finally start to socialize with my friends.” Hence, much like the feelings that Motherspaw explained, other students of all ages are feeling the joy of finally being “free” from not only masks but quarantine in general.
However, there are still worries when it comes to these new COVID-19 rules, which is natural as most of the California population is losing a year and a half long habit of wearing masks. Both adults and children are all afraid of the “what-ifs” once the mask comes off, despite the fact that many people in California are vaccinated and that there is a smaller increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in California nowadays. Yet, Motherspaw reflects upon his own worries about these new rules that everyone in California cannot help but share: “A concern I have is that we will get a little too comfortable and there might be another spike, but I’m not too worried.” Thus, yes there are various types of worries that the population of California may be experiencing right now, but the concerns for these new guidelines are not stopping California from enjoying this period of detachment from the masks.
Overall, vaccinated teenagers are the most affected by these new guidelines, as their social lives have completely changed with the new aspect of freedom. Consequently, adults are starting to feel, as Motherspaw says, the “normality” of life once again. This, of course, puts much of California at ease with the ability for students’ schools to “…[go] back to normal in no time,” as Motherspaw comments, and the ability for everyone to roam outside and go to all the restaurants and stores that they were scared or restricted from going to throughout the period of quarantine. Hopefully, the amount of COVID-19 cases in California continues to stay low until this pandemic finally dies out, as the freedom that the teenagers and adults are feeling right now is highly deserved.
Regina Lee, Grade 10
Saugus High School