Reverse The Mask Mandate


John Robert , Editor

With Covid cases rising, Lincoln Public Schools and Lancaster County have decided to reinstate the mask mandates throughout the county and LPS schools. This is a decision that pushes Lancaster County and LPS in the wrong direction. It unfairly punishes responsible people who did their part in trying to get us through the pandemic in the hope we could have some semblance of normalcy in our lives. 


Furthermore, the people who got fully vaccinated are at very little risk of being hospitalized by Covid-19. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services data shows fully vaccinated people make up approximately three percent of Covid hospitalizations in Nebraska, according to 10/11 News. The Department’s statistics additionally show fully vaccinated people are at even lower risks of dying as a result of Covid-19 making up approximately only two percent of Covid deaths in Nebraska. 


This raises the question, “Why should fully vaccinated people be forced to wear a mask in schools when they are at such low risk?” You’ll hear many people try to make the case that while vaccinated people are at low risk of being harmed by Covid, that they could still potentially carry the virus and give it to someone who could be seriously harmed by Covid. But with Covid deaths and hospitalizations being almost exclusively unvaccinated people who had the option to get vaccinated but chose not to, it would be entirely unethical to force vaccinated individuals who are at such an incredibly low risk to wear a mask. People who got the vaccine shouldn’t have to accommodate other people who made bad decisions. The current director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, has even talked about the effectiveness of vaccines and how avoidable most Covid deaths are.  


“Nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable,” Walensky said, according to the Associated Press


There are people of course who don’t have the option of getting vaccinated. Kids under 12  don’t yet have the option of getting vaccinated. Having mask requirements for younger unvaccinated kids seems reasonable considering the circumstances until a vaccine becomes available to them. In addition to kids under 12, there are very rare exceptions where people can’t get the vaccine, due to being allergic to many of the components of the various vaccines, like polyethylene glycol, and polysorbate. But cases of these allergies are rare and make up a very small percentage of the population and if they’re concerned about Covid they can wear a mask and socially distance to protect themselves. If for whatever reason they can’t wear a mask or still feel at risk, having mask requirements when in direct contact with people who don’t have the option seems reasonable. But the idea that I, or any other vaccinated person for that matter, should be forced to wear a mask around other vaccinated people who are at incredibly low risk, or unvaccinated people who chose to not get vaccinated seems unjust.