Returning to school was a big switch for everyone, especially with freshmen transitioning from middle school to high school in the blink of an eye. Several students have stated they are worried about being in school right now. Surveys were made about going back to remote learning in early January, as well as keeping the mask mandate at Malden High School. The mask mandate in Malden Public Schools was dropped on March 7th.
Principal Christopher Mastrangelo mentioned that he believes as of right now, Malden High is “going in the right direction” as to how it was the past few months. COVID cases have dropped since the School Committee dropped the mask policy at MHS at the meeting on March 7th.
Many freshmen have stated how they think lifting the mask mandate was not the best option: “It’s not the smartest idea but it wasn’t necessarily the school’s decision,” said freshman Sean Antin. He and many other students have continued to wear their masks to keep extra safety. “I also keep mine on, unless I’m eating or very out of breath,” mentioned another freshman, Mandie Etienne. Etienne understands why they dropped it after so long, but believes it is safer to keep them on as she does herself.
Freshman Bradley Louigene stated he liked not always having to wear a mask all the time. “It makes me feel naked in a way but also free as far as wearing them for so long and then suddenly not on a random Monday.” Louigene mentioned how COVID has “definitely taken a toll” on his average life before the pandemic started. “I miss when no one, including myself, was not worried about getting a virus that could make us very sick. And the number of family members people have lost due to it is just upsetting,” he said.
Freshman Averi Bell said “it’s kind of dangerous being in school, to be honest. Having an option to go online would be nice.” Another freshman, Natasha Ferraz, said she was “glad to come back” considering how boring remote learning was for her. “I like being in school with my friends, being online just wasn’t the same. I missed being with all my friends and being able to hang out with them normally,” said Ferraz. Both stated how it’s also more dangerous since “we do not have to wear masks anymore.”
“I think I liked doing it online because I had the opportunity to actually experience it,” freshman Alleela Perryman said. She expressed how sometimes it “got boring,” so she was stuck between liking being online and not liking it. She believes that going back online now would be “out of the picture” even though the mask mandate was dropped because many “still wear it” at school.
As of now, COVID cases in Massachusetts and at MHS have decreased significantly since the beginning of the school year.