Orange or yellow, masks shouldn’t be optional.

The Bulldogger staff’s opinion on masks.

Beckett Allen, Staff Writer

While wearing masks may be a controversy among society, it was a general consensus for the Bulldogger staff. They’re super uncomfortable, hot, and itchy; however they are very much necessary.

The West Central District Health Department posts a COVID update every Thursday. A meter indicates where we stand as a community with the spread of the virus. In correlation with the scale, the high school has created a guide that provides mask and social distancing guidelines depending on our risk level. Green is a normal school day without masks, yellow indicates that masks are encouraged but not required, orange requires that masks are worn everywhere on campus, and red shuts down school. With North Platte currently in the orange zone but slowly inching down, the question of wearing masks in the yellow zone is brought up. The Bulldogger staff was unanimous in saying that we would continue to wear our masks even if the risk level drops to yellow, and we urge our peers to do the same.

I feel like if [students] have such an objection to masks, then remote learning would probably be a better option.

— Chloe Walchesky

When North Platte advances to the yellow zone, our biggest concern is another upswing in cases. With masks becoming optional in school, this would most likely be seen as a reason for students to not wear one. This would make it much easier for the virus to spread through the hallways and classrooms. It could essentially waste all of the strides we’ve been making in containing the virus, and would ultimately lead us back to square one.

While masks are quite inconvenient, the general agreement was that wearing a mask outweighs the risks. “I feel like it’s a common courtesy,” senior Chloe Walchesky said. “I feel like if [students] have such an objection to masks, then remote learning would probably be a better option.”

A large reason that could prompt some students to not wear a mask aside from the convenience could be peer pressure. While this may not be a problem for some, your friends not wearing a mask could be a good enough reason to not wear one for someone. “You should wear a mask based off of what you think and the well being of others,” junior Joe Stone said. “Don’t base your opinion off of your friends.”

Junior Drew Ogden demonstrates how to improperly wear a mask. Around the school, this seems to be a common mistake among students.