Anti-maskers, patience is a virtue


Credit: Genevieve Morrison

WSPN’s Genevieve Morrison examines the recent anti-mask protests at Wayland High School.

Genevieve Morrison

This is it. We’re in the home stretch. Stores are opening up, concerts are back and Zoom school is but a distant memory. Only a few more weeks until normalcy. So why are anti-maskers still outraged?

On Thursday, Feb. 10, a group of nine protestors walked into the Massachusetts State House on a mission to find Governor Charlie Baker. Their demands? An end to statewide mask and vaccine mandates. They got past an entry checkpoint, and one made it to just outside the room where Baker was speaking. However, as the ultimate irony, Baker was announcing the end to the statewide mask mandate in schools as they strode in.

Similarly, on Friday, Feb. 11, a group of protestors entered Wayland High School without masks in protest to the mask mandate. Their display was small and short-lived since the students were sent home without punishment. However, it got people talking.

Another demonstration occurred on Feb. 14 outside of the high school, consisting of adults and parents of WHS students, demanding the end of mask mandates. They held signs as students arrived, urging them to “unmask.”

All of this fuss about masks is coming at an odd time, considering we are just weeks away from the lift of the mandate statewide. To put it simply, dear anti-maskers, you’ve already won.

Although it’s not fully decided in Wayland as of right now, Superintendent Dr. Omar Easy has stated his intentions to end the mandate in early March.

Considering this, it’s not as if these protestors are objecting to a specific School Committee or government decision. In fact, these officials obviously agree that it’s time for masks to come off. Realistically, there is nothing the district can do that hasn’t already been done in terms of decision-making.

These protests will succeed at nothing but making their movement look pointless. There’s no need to fight tooth and nail for this so called “right to choose” when the choice has already been made in their favor. Literally all there is left to do is wait.

With all this said, these protests are a manifestation of many popular fears. Whether you agree with them or not (and for the record, I do not) you must understand that their hearts are in the right place. Misguided? Sure. Malicious? No.

After, all we don’t have it all figured out. What will happen if and when a new variant comes along? Will there be another booster? Should it be mandated? With all of this uncertainty, it’s fair to say we’re all a little on edge. We’ve been in this pandemic rut for so long that every light at the end of the tunnel seems too good to be true.

As we all know, there have been glimmers of hope before, and those went out before we got close enough to touch. Between the introduction of the vaccine and the calm before the storm of the delta variant, there have been several points where the pandemic has seemed close to the end. We’ve let our hopes up, only to be let down time and time again. I’m sure these anti-maskers are dubious of this new promise to end masks because aren’t we all? However, what else can we do if not hope?

It’s not worth losing sleep over improbable hypotheticals when, in all likelihood, we’ll be out of this mess sooner than we think. It’s definitely not worth it to disrupt our school environment over an issue that is already decided. We owe ourselves and our communities that much.

In many ways, this is the closest we’ve been to a normal life since March 2019. Personally, I’m going to hitch my wagon to the most promising star. Right now, that is trusting our doctors, scientists and school officials. As much of an inconvenience as it may be, I’ll be wearing my mask until I’m told not to.

Let’s all take a deep, masked breath in and trust that this could be the end.