The End of an Era


Keira Dooley

Education vs. the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Recap

The first appearance of the coronavirus was on December 12, 2019. On January 21, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Washington. In March 2020, schools began to shut down. By March 25, all public school buildings in the United States closed, with most districts turning to distance learning. Nearly a year later, Governor Jay Inslee announced that school districts would offer part-time in-person education to grades K-6 by April 5 and grades 7-12 by April 19, 2021. By August, schools began preparing to reopen full-time following the COVID guidelines given by the Washington State Department of Health. After several months of following these guidelines, Governor Inslee announced on February 28, 2022, that there would be no more indoor mask requirements beginning March 12. This announcement marks a huge step forward in the path back to normalcy.

End Of The Mandate: Good or Bad?

In a survey conducted with 50 students from Peninsula High School, 66% stated that they were for the mandate ending, and 34% said they were either against or unsure about it. When asked if they would continue to wear a mask, 64% answered that they would not, and 36% said they either would or might. The students then answered why they thought the mask mandate should or shouldn’t end. One student said, “I think it should [end] because people should be able to choose as long as they don’t hurt others and shouldn’t be judged for it.” Several other students made similar statements, saying they wanted the ability to choose as long as people respect each other and their choices. Others reported that they thought the masks were ineffective, especially when the mandate wasn’t consistently being enforced. Another student replied, “I feel like we should still be wearing masks even if we are vaccinated because those with compromised immune systems are still at a very high risk. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life.” Several arguments can be made both for and against the mandate. The fact is that the end of the mandate cannot be classified as “good” or “bad.” Everyone won’t have the same opinion on one topic. The best thing that we can do is offer each other respect.

Remembering The Hardship

No one in this world is the same, and because of this, something that may positively affect one person may negatively impact another. There is no single way to help everyone. We each must make the best choices we can for ourselves while also respecting the choices of others around us. It is important to remember that everyone has been affected by this pandemic. Whether someone has suffered through mental illness, loss of loved ones, or has even fought the sickness themself, everyone has suffered during the past two years. So instead of judging or belittling each other, we should try to be mindful of each other and respect each other’s decisions. 



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Governors Newsom, Brown and Inslee announce updated health guidance. Governor Jay Inslee. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from,and%20long%2Dterm%20care%20facilities