Community responds: masks optional starting March 4

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By: Mira Costello


   In a memo released to students Feb. 18, IU Today announced that wearing masks indoors will be optional on all campuses starting March 4. 

   Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s chief health officer, encouraged those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask to continue to do so, but said that as state public health orders expire, personal choice should drive masking decisions. 

   IU South Bend will continue to stock free masks in University buildings, and KN95 masks will still be available at the Gateway in the Administration Building on weekdays.

Here’s what the campus community is saying.

“I feel like it’s a good thing so that people will finally stop complaining about wearing the mask. I’ve never been a fan of having to wear them.” – Nolan Back, freshman

“I think that masks becoming optional is okay in places where you can be socially distanced, but not all classes can have desks six feet apart. I think masks should still be required in classrooms but not in the hallways or while working out.” – Rachel Stanley, junior

“I personally don’t agree with the optional thing. I don’t understand why people are so against something meant to protect both you and other people. Just because you don’t get sick easily or don’t go around people who aren’t at risk doesn’t mean everyone else is the same as you. It’s just silly and will lead to more problems and higher Covid rates.” – Myles Byrne, freshman

“I think it would definitely be a weird feeling seeing everyone’s faces again. I’m fully vaccinated so it personally doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I’d hope being at college we are more hygienic than little kids sneezing on each other and not washing their hands. If it becomes optional I’ll take my mask off.” – Morgan Watters, sophomore

“I’m cautiously optimistic.” – Lori Schmatz, administrative assistant at the Titan Success Center

“I think it’s definitely risky. I’m vaccinated and have the booster, but I know a lot of people who are still getting it even with all three, so I don’t know. I definitely feel it’s a risk.” – Katie Craft, junior

“So happy to see the return of the smiles.” Karen Pajor, IU South Bend Tap and Kickline director

“I think that it’s impossible to know what the infection rate is going to be by March 4. Personally, I don’t like wearing a mask, but I know that it’s a necessary step in preventing coronavirus infections. I’m going to keep wearing mine come March 4; it’s the best I can do to prevent the spread.” – Jordan Bontrager, freshman

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