Preventing the Virus

Masks are effective for preventing the spread of disease as long as they are used appropriately.

Anna Nguyen, Reporter

At Southeast, administration wants students to be as safe as possible. The school set up mandatory rules for visitors, students, and staff to follow. Many rules including distancing, hand sanitizing and wearing masks. The main rule to avoid any viruses spreading is always wearing a mask around the school. Masks can be taken off whenever you are alone or at lunch.

Masks are one of the most effective ways of preventing the virus. Government officials recommend wearing masks because they prevent the spread of diseases by preventing bacteria droplets flying towards another person.

In an interview with CNN, Anthony Fauci, head of the White House Corona Virus Task Force, said, ”I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.” 

While masks may not be 100 percent effective, it is a lot safer than not wearing one at all. Cases would slowly decrease if people practiced social distancing and wore masks, experts say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that, “people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household… Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public setting.”

At Southeast it is mandatory that a mask is worn correctly for the safety of yourself and the people around you. 

“As of right now we can actually have our mask off as long as we are alone  in our classroom or our office but when the kids come back I do believe we are required to keep it on at all times,” Assistant Principal Joe Nelson says.

 So far, Nelson says the mandate has been going successfully. “We had deployment where kids had to pick up their computers and came with their parents.  I would say 99.9 percent of everyone that came up to the school during computer and supply deployment they abided by the mask rules and policies and expectations,” Nelson said. “If a parent or student came to the school without a mask, they were provided one and had no problems wearing it.”

Wearing the correct type of mask is also important as well as wearing it the correct way. Not all facial coverings prevent COVID-19. 

Southeast nurse Emily Scott says that she prefers to wear disposable medical masks. “I find them more comfortable and breathable. I do not reuse these masks, because they are disposable… Cloth masks are acceptable, but they need to be two-layer and they must be washed daily,” Scott said.

Cloth masks with one layer of covering such bandanas or thin masks are not as effective. Wearing masks with vents are also less effective. The most efficient mask that you could find is one that has a filter and layers so that they prevent bacteria from spreading, according to Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns.

“I firmly believe that one main reason for the trends moving in the right direction is citizen compliance and wearing masks,” Minns said in a press release announcing his latest mask order.