Our View: No mask mandate, no worries

When the President’s Office sent out an email to the campus community Feb. 25 stating that Truman State University no longer requires masks on campus, the campus community was split. Most of us were shocked at the news, expecting the mask mandate to be intact until spring break at least. 

The new ruling went into effect at 5 p.m. Feb. 25. All buildings on campus no longer require an individual to wear a mask to enter. This protocol follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, updated Feb. 25. The CDC community levels place Adair County at “low,” which recommends, “People with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask,” according to the CDC’s website.

The email states students who would feel more comfortable can continue wearing masks. Individuals on campus can continue to enforce masks in personal offices, but the individual must provide masks, according to the email.

We, The Index Editorial Board, were nervous when the mandate was first lifted, but seek to inform students about the updated usage of masks.

As of Mar 28, 2022, the COVID-19 community level is still low and the CDC said people can choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect themselves and others.

To ease the anxieties that come with the changing COVID-19 protocols, a New York Times article entitled “Should You Still Wear a Mask?” by Amelia Nierenberg explains how safe you might be while going maskless in certain situations.

Nierenberg states, “if you’re otherwise healthy and have received your vaccine and booster shots, your risk of getting seriously ill with Covid is extraordinarily small.”

“If infection rates where you live are high … the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend masks in most indoor spaces. But in many situations, the decision to wear a mask is becoming a personal one,” Nierenberg said.

Outdoor spaces are generally safe according to Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology who studies infectious diseases at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

“If you’re standing on a lawn watching a show, there’s really no data to support that a mask does anything to protect you that Mother Nature’s not taking care of,” Bromage said. 

Places like The Quad are safe for maskless fun. When it comes to masking in the classroom, our community’s COVID-19 level remains low so we are fine without masks according to the CDC. But in general, do what makes you feel comfortable and respect others’ decisions on the matter.