The Anchor Staff: Responses to the new mask mandate


Mr. Karsjens teaching one of his classes in the new mask free environment.

The Anchor Staff

As of May 20th, 2021, new legislation was passed banning requiring masks in public schools, like CCA, cities and counties. Below, each Anchor members shares their thoughts.

Shelby Moquin-Editor 

I honestly did not see the point in this change in COVID policy. To me, it blew my mind. First I was struck by the thought of why would the governor push for this so late in the school year, with only a few weeks left, what was the point of this? Then it struck me, this was a completely political move. Kim Reynolds and her colleagues are wanting to be seen as the liberators of this pandemic, the ones that return life back to normal. When in fact she honestly did nothing to help in the first place. No lockdowns, she misspent COVID pandemic relief funds on a new accounting system and salaries, she cut COVID unemployment aid, she honestly has been doing more harm than good during this pandemic. 

It just infuriates me because schools, the education and health of students, should not be a political pawn on her agenda to get more support. Each county in Iowa has a different number of COVID cases, different hospitalizations, every situation is so different. So it just blows my mind that she is banning mask mandates in schools, cities, and counties all over the state.  

The difference of opinions is very close to home, occurring in my family. While my mother is excited she doesn’t have to wear a mask anymore and neither do her kids (we are all vaccinated), I’m honestly still apprehensive. And I want to help others. So I will continue to wear my mask for the time being, even though I’m fully vaccinated. I’m doing it for the people who are unable to get the vaccine, for the kids who are too young, people who have conditions that prevent them from getting it, people who can’t access it. It’s simple, don’t be selfish. And hey you have the right to do whatever you please and I won’t judge, just saying, think about others for a change. 


Anisa Rachman-Reporter

As many Iowans know, on the morning of May 20th Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill banning schools, cities, and counties from requiring individuals to wear a mask. While some rejoice in the end of the pandemic, the question is: Does this really help our situation?

No one loved wearing a mask throughout these past years. However, mask mandates were put in place for a reason. By wearing one, it slows down the spread of COVID-19 in your local areas. Yes, it is true that this pandemic is almost coming to an end. With the help of the vaccine people are becoming more resistant to the virus. However, as the CDC has stated, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” Nowhere does the CDC state that unvaccinated people should let up on wearing a mask. This new bill Gov. Kim Reynolds has passed disregards the advice of the CDC and instead completely throws it out the window. Rather than go a little longer in discomfort, the leaders of Iowa will put the state in risk of another outbreak of COVID-19. Not everyone in Iowa is vaccinated. Only citizens twelve and older can get the vaccine; some are still afraid of the side effects and are putting it off. This is not the time to be lifting the mask mandate entirely and making it illegal to require them. 

The passing of this new bill is also very bad timing for schools. For most schools in Iowa, the school year will be out in a week or two. Can the new law not wait until children are safe at home and not required to go into large areas without a vaccine? Elementary schools, for example, are full of unvaccinated children that are no longer required to wear a mask. There will likely be an outbreak at these schools, infecting students and some teachers. Why put them at risk when the school year is almost over?

For those who aren’t fully vaccinated and aren’t sure if they should wear a mask, for the sake of getting through this pandemic please wear a mask. The least you can do is wear one in public spaces until you are vaccinated. Please encourage others around you who are not vaccinated either to also be responsible and follow the CDC’s guidelines.


Abby Detert-Reporter

The mask mandate was lifted. People without the vaccine are now both able to decide whether or not they want to wear masks. This is being met with varying reactions from all age groups.

The majority of students and children are glad they no longer have to wear masks. Teachers also get the option and while many are vaccinated they may still keep the masks on to make students feel comfortable. Many parents and older people are also glad they no longer have to wear masks if they don’t want to.

This isn’t to say that some people that are still wearing masks are wrong for doing it. They may just be wanting to take their masks off once they get the vaccine. Or they don’t feel comfortable. Both of which are completely acceptable because this is a decision that people are making for themselves and it isn’t other people’s business of what they want or don’t want to wear masks. 

And whether or not someone is wearing a mask doesn’t change anything that is going on in the world. The mask mandate being lifted is just showing us that life is now going to a new normal. Not the same as before covid and not the same as during covid but a new normal now that we have all gone through a global pandemic together. 


Jesse Schruer-Reporter

Last night legislation signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds banned school’s from requiring students to wear masks. “The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties. I want to thank the Iowa Legislature for their quick work in bringing this bill to my desk so that it can be signed into law.”

Though I agree that thing’s are getting better, the pandemic still is not over, in some places in the world it’s barely even starting. School’s should still be able to still require that students wear masks because not everyone has been vaccinated yet and vaccines haven’t yet been approved for all age groups.

I feel like banning mask mandaties at this point might be too great a risk, I think that we should wait until our numbers are in at least the double or single digits before talking about banning mask requirements. 


Taylor Dolezal-Reporter 

Do you think masks should still be required? Well, let us think about it. Depending on your opinion and what you think about the mask mandate becoming optional, you can still decide what you are comfortable with. Mask or not, we are still in a pandemic. I feel that we should still be cautious about what we are allowing so soon. We wouldn’t want a significant increase in the virus, especially after the numbers of cases dropping.

It’s nice being able to see familiar faces after being masked for so long, but is it worth it? It’s become a routine to wear one after it was required for a year and a half. To me, it’s odd having that option not to wear one, especially knowing that things are starting to change. And when I say change, I mean things are slowly starting to feel normal again. Especially after feeling trapped for so long, you just want things to go back to the way they were.

It’s hard adapting to the sudden change when it’s just become a routine.  COVID is not gone, nor do I feel that it will anytime soon. I feel we need to be careful about this sudden change. Let’s consider the fact that many people are not vaccinated and are still scared about the virus itself.


Cole Holmes-Reporter

I think that the mandate not to enforce mask use is good because some kids might have trouble breathing. Also some kids might not be able to and focus because they are uncomfortable and worrying about their masks. But the reason that it is bad is that it makes you more susceptible to covid and makes it easier to spread. In my opinion I like the mandate because I was constantly being uncomfortable and worrying about my mask.