Mask, mask, go away come again another day

Mask requirement indoors

Hana Marrone

Mask requirement indoors

Hana Marrone, Features Editor

The San Diego Community College District announced that the mask mandate will end on Dec. 19. This means that individuals will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors on campus. 

According to the update sent out by Gregory Smith, the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for the SDCCD, “Within our region, hospitalizations from severe illness due to COVID-19 have declined sharply, case rates have dropped, and measurements of the coronavirus in our wastewater indicate the lowest level of prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities since before the omicron variant spread widely during the winter last year.”

According to the San Diego Unified School District, “As we start the 2022-23 school year, indoor masking will not be required but rather will be strongly recommended at all schools and workplaces, regardless of CDC COVID-19 community level.”

Masks have been required for the Fall 2022 semester within the SDCCD even though the K-12 schools, colleges and universities in San Diego County have not required their students to wear masks indoors. 

According to the San Diego County website, there are 140 hospitalizations of confirmed COVID-19 positive patients. 

With consideration of the potential for large gatherings during the holiday season made Morteza Mohssenzadeh, an engineering professor at Mesa College, say that, “If you say ok remove the mask and then we get sick again and then we start all over again. We should wait a little bit more until maybe summer.” 

The CDC put together a series of consolidated forecasts for hospitalization. Following the decrease of hospitalizations there is expected to be a slow increase of hospitalizations in California from now and up to Dec. 2.   

When asked to think about those who live with someone who is considered high risk, “I think they’re going to feel stressed out because that was kind of their security for a little bit,” said Monique Rosas, a student and employee at Mesa. “They’re going to be scared and a little bit nervous.” 

According to the CDC, people who have cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic lung disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, disabilities, heart conditions, HIV infection, dementia or other neurological conditions are considered at higher risk for getting extremely sick compared to someone who doesn’t. 

“This means that a person with one or more of these conditions who gets very sick from COVID-19 is more likely to: be hospitalized, need intensive care, require a ventilator to help them breathe and die,” the CDC website said. 

The removal of masks is a concern for people with pre-existing health conditions. 

“My mom, she has diabetes and high blood pressure so that is one of the people that is more immune compromised,” said Priti Khan, a student and employee at Mesa. “I am very careful about that whole thing because I do go to school where I’m surrounded by many different people. I don’t want to risk my mother getting sick or anything like that. It’s also not only my family.” 

The Mesa Academic Senate passed a resolution of the removal of the mask mandate at its Oct. 24 meeting.