Students reflect on the lifted mask mandate



A screenshot of DSUSD’s COVID-19 Dashboard as of Monday, May 23, 2022.

In the month of March, the California mask mandate was lifted. The change allowed everyone, vaccinated or not, to choose between wearing a mask. As soon as that happened, the DSUSD Board of Education made an announcement that masks were no longer mandatory to wear. 

Matthew Juarez ’23 is all for not wearing his mask. 

“Honestly, I see no point in wearing it,” Juarez said. “I just don’t like it, but when I get near a big crowd, I do get a little concerned.” 

In that instance, he said, he sometimes gets his mask from his backpack to wear as he walks through big crowds and then removes it when he’s in the clear. 

Marlee Franklin ’23 is still wearing her mask.

“It does annoy me having to wear it sometimes, but no matter how much I don’t like to wear a mask, I am unvaccinated and feel more protected,” Franklin said. 

She wears it as a form of comfort and protection “not only from the virus, but also like a form of not being completely visible,” she said. 

Sonny Jeffers ’23 is vaccinated, but does not like to wear his mask. 

He lives with his grandparents and at their age, he fears what would happen if they were to contract COVID-19.

“Whenever I go into public alongside my grandmother, I [choose] put my mask on,” Jeffers said. “I 100% should, so I don’t catch COVID and have to potentially risk giving it to my grandparents, but there are times where I either forget or I just don’t feel like putting it on.” 

With COVID-19 cases being minimal at DSUSD, the lifting of the mask mandate brought an option for people to be in public without having to carry a mask.

Earlier on Friday, May 13, at approximately 6 a.m., the COVID-19 dashboard had a “malfunction” because of the increase of COVID-19 data.

As of press time, there are 33 cases of COVID at La Quinta High, 25 student and 8 staff cases. In total, there are 220 total cases in the entire Desert Sands Unified School District. With a considerable uptick in the number of COVID exposures and positive cases, students and staff must continue to participate in safety measures. 

With a considerable uptick in the number of COVID-19 exposures and positive cases in the Coachella Valley, especially as the semester comes to a close, it has yet to be seen whether this will negatively impact final exams next week.