After two years of wearing masks, TRU lifted the mask mandate

After a few weeks of mask-less study, how are students feeling about the B.C. mask mandate lifting on campus?

The BC government released a statement on March 10 announcing that the requirement to wear masks indoors in public places is no longer mandatory. TRU put this into effect on March 14 and students got to enjoy a mask-free week for the first time in two years.

Bachelor of Journalism student Alejandra Mantilla shared her feelings about the lifted mandates; “considering that COVID-19 is still going around, I do not feel safe with so many people not wearing masks.”

“It is an easier way to spread the virus, and even if you are vaccinated, there is definitely a risk. Another thing to take into account is that TRU does not require its students to be vaccinated to attend classes, which can also represent a risk,” added Mantilla.

Mantilla fears the mandate was lifted too soon. “Personally, I do feel like it is really soon to lift the mask mandate, considering the different variants that are going around.”

“For my protection, I am still wearing a mask, so I would feel comfortable if they ask us to wear masks again,” said Mantilla about the possibility of the mandates returning.

Panthi Parikh, a second-year business student, also shared her feelings about this decision; “I’d say I have mixed feelings about the mask mandate being lifted at TRU. Removing the mask mandate is a positive sign showing that hospitalizations and transmissions have decreased, so I’m happy about that.”

“But we have to remember that those around us will adjust to the news in their own time. People will do things in their own manner, and this is, as always, a moment to be respectful and kind to each other,” Parikh said.

Parikh and Mantilla, like other students, have some concerns about not wearing masks anymore. “My biggest concern about not wearing a mask is getting COVID. Since the pandemic started, I haven’t got COVID, and it would suck to get COVID right now after being safe for the past two years,” Parikh said.

“For me, it will be getting COVID since I am an international student and the way it affects you differs from person to person,” Mantilla said.

“I think some places should still require masks, like public transportation because a lot of people use them,” added Parikh.

Mantilla feels places that are crowded and closed should still have masks requirements. “Bars, clubs, classes, supermarkets, buses and so on are places that are still very high risks and should have better regulations.”

When asked how she would feel if the mandates returned one day, Parikh said, “I would definitely be sad if we are asked to wear masks again, but I am not opposed to it as COVID cases can increase at any time.”

TRU believes that each student should be able to choose whether they wear masks. They ask that students be kind to the decisions of others. They also sent a reminder that TRU is mask friendly and that they will support our choice.