Antoine Warnery, Staff Writer

This time a year ago, wearing masks in class seemed like a no-brainer. It was a small sacrifice to mitigate a significant risk to the health and safety of all on campus. But just because the decision was logical then does not mean it is appropriate now. 

The extraordinary pace of vaccine research has shown that COVID-19 simply does not pose the same threat as it used to. It is not fair to ask those least affected by the virus to continue to make sacrifices that are not necessary anymore. 

The U.K. government no longer requires face masks in educational institutions. Students in schools around London are able to learn free from the burden of masks. 

The pandemic has the same impact at our school as any other school. If this is the case, why should we wear masks at school? One may argue that the slight discomfort of masks is worth the reward, so let’s take a closer look at the statistics. 

According to, the risk for death among children is incredibly rare. 

Now with most students in the High School being either single or double-vaccinated, the already low chance of contraction has dramatically decreased. 

That being said, ASL also has to account for the health and safety of the adults on campus. Staff and people at risk were listed as a priority for vaccination by the U.K. government, so by now they have all had the opportunity to be double vaccinated. 

Given that the vaccine is 96% effective at preventing hospitalization according to the BBC, if people were to choose not to wear masks at school, cases of the virus would still be dramatically low. 

Avoiding the use of masks would also enrich learning. Masks heavily hinder communication, and are very disconcerting for students. Students are constantly arranging their masks for their best fit, bothered by the straps. 

Additionally, students with glasses can barely see through the fog, and the buildup of moisture is also highly discomforting, creating an unbearable itch. 

When sitting through long lectures, masks can impede a student’s comprehension, thereby creating a disadvantage to their learning. 

Students tend to hang out with the same people outside of school as they do inside. Although wearing a mask will prevent a group from contracting the virus in school, once students walk outside the building, masks come flying off. 

Ultimately, most students will spread COVID-19 to their friends whether they wear a mask or not. This lowers the overall efficacy of masks in school, and essentially deems them redundant for preventing the spread of coronavirus between students. 

We students have sacrificed the most because of the pandemic’s restrictive nature. Students have surrendered their education and their social lives for the sake of virus prevention. 

It is inequitable to be asking the most from those who are the least affected. 

COVID-19 has dwindled the mental health of many and has redefined who we are. It seems COVID-19 is no longer a physical virus but a psychological one. We are trapped in a world lurking with the virus. 

However, stepping away from masks will speed our escape from the pandemic. With every breath we take, masks serve as a reminder of the hardships.