Seeing Students’ Smiles Again


Gavin with two happy unmasked students

Brynn Reilly and Gavin Brand

Students’ smiles were finally revealed on March 2, 2022 after two years of being masked due to the Covid pandemic.

The global pandemic that spread to the US in early 2020 has finally stopped taking over our lives. After being in a quarantine for months in 2020 and being masked for much of the last two years, NY Governor Kathy Hochul took a big step forward to normalcy by lifting the mask mandate at the beginning of March this year. In schools around the US, the masks have become non-mandatory and the choice is given to the parents and students. 

To keep safe, Covid tests are continuously available to K-12 students and their families. With tests being given out and the amount of people vaccinated, students can finally show their smiles while staying safe.  

WHBHS school nurse Mrs. Andarakis gave advice about what to do if a student feels sick without mask protection. She said, “If they’re feeling sick in the morning, they should not come to school. If they feel sick in school, they should come to the nurse and go home if they are not feeling well.” 

Even with the amount of precautions still being applied for Covid, there is still a chance of getting a normal sickness like the common cold or flu. Mrs. Andarakis said, “The flu circulates every year, but I thought wearing the masks did offer protection from one another. But since the masks are off, there is more flu in the air. There is more potential to acquire the flu as with every virus so it isn’t abnormal this time of year, and I don’t see it higher than usual.” 

With masks being optional, smiles can now finally be shown in the hallways!  Current juniors and seniors were freshman and sophomores in 2020 when WHB schools were shut down. They started high school without masks and then had to go through half of their high school experience wearing one.

Finally are able to go back to the experience they started high school with. Senior Jessie Dunn said, “This year is so much better now because we haven’t seen anybody’s faces in two years!”

Junior Quinn McCormack said “It’s a sigh of relief and I’m honestly excited not having to wear the masks anymore.”

The senior class can finally end high school on a good note. For upcoming classes, hopefully this is a sign for better things to come.