Broken Promises Involving Mask Breaks


Katie Goyette

Due to COVID-19, students and teachers were forced to wear masks in the school building. Lots of complaints occurred throughout the year as a result of many people disliking the masks. Before this year began, students were promised mask breaks throughout their days, but unfortunately, the promise has not seemed to be fulfilled. After asking many students and teachers about breaks, it seems to be mixed between the students who get breaks and those who don’t.

It surprised me to see the large number of students who received mask breaks, considering I don’t get any. Half of the students I asked said they got no mask breaks and the other half said they got a few occasionally. I gave out a teacher survey to gather the number of teachers who gave mask breaks and who didn’t. After reviewing the results, the majority of the teachers who didn’t give any breaks said they were too busy with the curriculum or students didn’t ask for any. One teacher stated, “ It is a small class with about 5 feet between students, so I don’t do a more structured mask break.” After reading through what some teachers said, it is understandable as to why not many breaks were given. 

Although masks help to prevent the spread of the virus, they have their cons. Wearing a mask for a long time is proven to give students headaches more frequently. With a small break from the mask, it can almost immediately resolve the headache pain. Many people worldwide complain about the acne breakouts they’ve experienced due to the sweat and grease buildup from wearing masks. To prevent the increased amount of headaches and breakouts, mask breaks to allow students and teachers to get some fresh air. A short break during their 7+ hour day, wouldn’t hurt to at least aim for. 

Even though some students don’t directly ask for a mask break, it could be very beneficial. It’s proven that fresh air can give you more energy and allow you to focus easier. It can also help students relax more and take a little break from their masks safely. A short time of fresh air could mean all the difference in how much easier your students can focus. 

Overall, If teachers are done with teaching or just have leftover time, it may be helpful to take your students outside for a break. Even though students don’t always ask, they might really enjoy it. Despite the year almost being over, there’s still time to change.