If you were at Jesuit in the spring of 2020, I’m sure you can remember where you were the moment Mr. Garrison came over the loudspeaker and announced that we would be moving to e-learning. I was in Mr. Vu’s sophomore geometry class, and we all thought it was an extended spring break.
Of course, it was not just an extra week of spring break. It was a spring, a summer of quarantine, and a fall of hybrid learning. The whole time, masks have been present and required. But after almost 18 months, Jesuit will finally lift the requirement for students and faculty to wear masks.
On October 18th, the Monday following homecoming, Jesuit will no longer be requiring facemasks. Our administration has not outright banned them but decided they will become optional. This comes after the Diocese of Dallas allowed high schools with the majority of their population vaccinated to lift their requirements. Jesuit now sits at an over 78% vaccination rate which has been a major contributor to the decision.
In an exclusive press conference with The Roundup, Mr. Earsing spoke about his hopes for the student body to continue taking our brother’s wishes into account in regards to immunocompromised students and being diligent and careful in our handling of the situation. We will still be “looking at prayer services and masses being separate,” and having dances outside, but the hope is that we continue to “get back to normal as much as possible”. He said that two health experts, both Jesuit alumni, were consulted throughout the process. They both believe, according to Mr. Earsing, that with our rigorous sanitation measures and vaccination rate that it is safe to take off our masks. Jokingly, he said we can “expect to see everybody’s faces” in the future. All in all, he looks forward to continuing our journey back to normalcy.
Ajay Bhavan ’22 hopes that “going maskless can help strengthen some of the relationships that COVID hindered.”
Thomas Wray ’22 believes that “COVID has been a long period of ups and downs, and it’s comforting to finally know the beginning of the end [of masks] is soon.”
Will Mansour ’22, similar to Ajay, hopes to “rebuild the friendships and community damaged by the effects of COVID.”
Cole Kostos ’24 said he “is ready to return back to normal after such a long time with [the masks] on.”
Timmy Keyes ’24 shared that he is “excited to see his brothers’ faces again.”
Jacob Lehman ’24 held the same excitement as Timmy, saying that he is is “excited to see everyone’s full faces and expression, not just their eyes”.
Stayed tuned to the Roundup for more campus news!