Students react: Washington on track to lift indoor mask mandates

Governor’s office originally planned to lift indoor mask mandate March 21, now scheduled for March 11

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ANISSA CHAK

Heather Taylor, freshman fine arts major, said it might be too early to lift mask mandates at WSU.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen reporter

With the end of the indoor mask mandate on the horizon for WSU and other state facilities, WSU students have mixed reactions to the change.

Alex Stuart, junior accounting and management information systems double major, said he felt the announcement was an overall positive development.

“I feel like at this point it’s a step in the right direction personally because I feel a lot of the COVID cases have slowed down a lot,” Stuart said.

Stuart said he does not believe there are any situations that would require a mask mandate to stay in place after the majority of them are lifted.

Cass Riggan, senior organic and sustainable agriculture major, said he also believed it was a good idea to lift the restrictions and hoped WSU would follow the state’s lead to prevent confusion.

“If I go to Walmart and I’m mask-free, but if I show up here and I gotta put on a mask, I’d rather not,” Riggan said. “I’m at the point in my life where I forget masks again.”

Connor Beene, sophomore animal science major, said he thought it was good that most restrictions would be lifted, but he feels most people still needed to be careful of COVID-19.

“I think it’s nice, but also it’s just important for those who are very affected, like the immune-compromised people, should definitely stick to masks,” Beene said. “I also think environment matters too. Like if you’re in a large crowd then it’s probably not a great idea [to not wear a mask].”

Beene said he thought the mid-March date was a good time to lift most restrictions, but that pushing it back would not necessarily be a bad idea.

“I think [WSU] could follow the same mandate, but also it could still be playing it on the safe side and just be very cautious with the indoor stuff,” Beene said. “I feel like a lot of our indoor activities in class and stuff still have large populations, so I think it would be safe to keep mask mandates to an extent.”

Heather Taylor, freshman fine arts major, said she believes it is too early to lift the mask mandates at this point.

“Coming back from spring break, some people have parents like mine who are COVID deniers who haven’t been vaccinated and they’re doing all kinds of stuff,” Taylor said. “So I personally will be wearing my mask a lot longer after that because I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want to get anyone else sick.”

Taylor said she was fine with people who want to being allowed to take masks off, but she was disappointed that a lot of people at WSU might take off their masks and spread COVID-19.

Skyler Prince, sophomore applied mathematics major, had not previously heard the announcement but did not think restrictions should be lifted yet.

“I don’t really agree with it,” Prince said. “I think we need to keep wearing masks and keep being as safe as possible. I just feel like it’s ignoring the problem.”

Prince said he thought it was too early to lift the masks with higher than average COVID-19 cases and hoped WSU would not get rid of all of their mask mandates.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Prince said. “I would hope WSU at least keeps it indoors ... I would hope they would at least keep that.”