Mask mandate lifted for vaccinated: De Anza students’ thoughts

When California relaxed the mask mandate on June 15, vaccinated people started going without their masks to restaurants, stores and other public spaces. De Anza College students have mixed feelings about it.

Elizabeth Kardach, 20, architecture major, said she thinks that the decision is reasonable, but she still is concerned about people who do not take the virus seriously.

“I thought it was reasonable, but I was also concerned since a lot of individuals still don’t believe the virus is a big deal and refuse to get vaccinated,” Kardach said. “I think a lot of people will be taking advantage of this since we can’t require them to show proof of vaccination everywhere.”

Tara Sohal, 21, business administration major, said she has similar feelings of relief from reopening and fear of getting the virus.

“My initial reaction to the reopening was definitely mixed,” Sohal said. “I was relieved that the state was moving forward in terms of vaccinations but still worried about people around me getting the virus.”

Tony Edwards, a 19-year-old graphic design major, said it is too soon to ease the mask mandate.

“I would’ve waited a little longer to get more vaccines out,” Edwards said. “But I think whoever doesn’t get theirs or hasn’t gotten it already won’t be getting one.”

Kardach added that the decision will not work because proof of vaccination relies on an honor system.

“The country is very divided in opinions these days and ‘honor’ to one person has a completely different meaning to another,” said Kardach. ”It’s messed up, but I don’t think we can rely on public morals.”

Sohal said he wishes that the color-coded coronavirus tier system that California abandoned was kept intact to better handle the virus.

“They went from having a lot of structure to their strategy to a free-for-all sort of situation,” he said.

Despite the lifted mask mandate, many vaccinated people choose to wear their masks as another precaution against the virus.

“I don’t think it’s too soon for vaccinated people to stop wearing masks. I think it should be a personal decision,” Sohal said. “If you feel safer wearing one, then you should still feel free to do so.”