Mask Madness

With the rising cases of COVID-19, there has been an increase of stricter mask mandates to help keep the public safe.


Smoking restrictions, seat belt orders, flood fortification, and rules about drinking while driving are examples of public health laws. Public health laws have always been a huge concern of our government. Without these rules, our country wouldn’t know the importance of one’s wellbeing or have the measures to handle an emergency response during a health crisis. These health laws have always been essential, but with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, they are now more crucial than ever.

Reagan and her teammates are wearing their masks during a 3 day tournament at the Richmond Convention Center. They are ecstatic to be playing for their last year as a senior in high school.

The Coronavirus was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, China. The United States of America quickly caught on to the trend and reported its first cases in January of 2020. On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, its first label since 2009 when they did the same with influenza. With coronavirus cases rising and no known cure, scientists and leaders around the globe knew something must be done to help flatten the curve. It was quickly known that wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart from others helped to slow the spread of the virus. Governors and leaders around the globe quickly created mandates and laws urging and informing citizens about wearing masks.

With the new mask laws in place, and many companies struggling to stay alive in the suffering economy, many businesses had to convert to making masks for income. One company in particular, ivWatch, has started to incorporate the making of N-95 masks into their business.

Sophie Stoddard spoke with one of the company’s former employees, Paul Stoddard. He gave her some great insight on the developing mask business. When asked why ivWatch started this side mask business, he responded, “My company found that the biosensor machine we used to make the original iv product could also be used in the production of masks. With just a few added parts to our machine we were ready to build.” So, with that realization the company went on and sold fresh N-95 masks to many places.

With the new restrictions, the 4 year old program at King Of Glory are required to wear a mask to school. Caroline is thrilled to be back in the classroom with her peers and loves wearing her Elsa mask.

Moving away from the company side of the interview, Stoddard asked about his thoughts on the mask laws. To that he answered, “I support the laws one hundred percent. I think everyone needs to be wearing one and kids should too for the safety of them and others.” The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, strongly recommends that any child three years or older should be protected with a face mask. Some medical professionals say that they do not recommend a child under three to wear a face covering due to risk of suffocation or trouble breathing.

There will constantly be new rules and recommendations put out, along with many opinions. Regarding face coverings, Paul Stoddard was asked what he thinks is an appropriate mask. He said, “Any medical grade face mask is always a great option. I would say to avoid anything resembling a scarf, bandana, or gaiter. A mask that completely encloses your mouth and nose and has a thick material.”

Peyton Blanding, a junior at CNU, and her track friends are required to wear a mask and social distance during their practice. They are all very excited to have the opportunity to compete again so they follow the guidelines and protocols.

Kayleigh Laska, a high school senior attending Jamestown High School, provided another perspective.  She concluded that they are necessary and its good that we’re having to wear them. “I think they’re very important in keeping us safe and according to research they’re doing a good job in protecting us from getting sick,” Kayleigh said. She also stated that “they were kind of annoying at first, but now use gotten used to them and realize that they’re necessary in keeping us safe. It’s been almost a year since we’ve been required to wear masks and its now become a habit for pretty much everyone. Hopefully we will be able to see a time soon where we don’t all need to wear masks. “ 

Public health laws are very important especially in today’s world. Mandates and laws regarding the COVID-19 virus are not only helping everyone stay safe, but they are helping to flatten the curve. Without the help of these safety precautions many more lives would have been lost and our country wouldn’t have grown into one that was as strong or united.