Will Masks Come Off on April 9th?

Sacha Ducreux: Men’s Soccer Player Joao Amaral following the new mask guidelines during practice. Photo By: Sacha Ducreux
Men’s Soccer Player Joao Amaral following the new mask guidelines during practice. Photo By: Sacha Ducreux

Kay Ivey has declared the public mask mandate in Alabama will be lifted April 9th at her briefing on March 4th. 

As Mississippi and Texas lifted their mandates completely, for the reason of ‘personal freedom’, many citizens of Alabama believed their state was next. Kay Ivey however, quickly announced the mandate will continue for another month. 

Kay Ivey is a strong southern governor, and numerous people were surprised at her response to Texas and Mississippi governors, believing that Ivey would be next to lift the mask requirements. She elaborates, “We need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift other restrictions.” 

Her practicality and realism surrounding the pandemic is attributed to having a suppressed immune system due to her personal battle with lung cancer. Her attitude on the matter has appealed to both sides. In July, when President Donald Trump openly disapproved of the mask mandate, Kay Ivey implemented both the mandate and the shut down in Alabama. 

At first glance, Kay Ivey looks like an old fashion republican, but when diving into her speeches, one can see she makes a genuine effort to please all people of Alabama. This may be influential during the governor reelection next year. 

It is very hard to imagine the decisions politicians have to make during this difficult time. Personally, I understand the consequences of wearing masks. I like many, am also genuinely annoyed with wearing them at this point. The lift on the mask mandate is controversial, however, according to Rice University’s Center for Research Computing’s Spatial Studies Lab, which logs all of Texas’s new Covid-19 cases, open hospital beds, and vaccines administered says that the state’s cases have more than doubled in the past 14 days. This makes me anxious for the reopening of Alabama, but the decision to wear a mask will be now on the public’s conscience. 

Being lukewarm on this announcement is normal. I feel as though in today’s bipartisan political climate, it’s commonplace to pick a side. This is a complex issue and has many emotions, as well as scientific data attached to it. Many people need to understand that it is typical to have these conflicting opinions. 

Despite all this: Spring Hill College will continue to enforce the mask mandate and social distancing on campus and in classrooms past April 9th, saying “As a small, private, Jesuit Catholic College, we feel a continuation of our COVID- 19 health and safety policies are for the good of all.”

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