Campus Conversations: Riverside City College students react to the RCCD Board of Trustees lifting the mask and booster mandates

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Interviews and photos by Daesha Gear

Questions:

What is your opinion on the mask and booster mandates being lifted?

Are the Board of Trustees making a wise decision?

Lisa Hines, first-year psychology major

“I’m fully vaccinated, so either way, I don’t mind. I think it’s pretty cool that we don’t have to wear masks anymore because, like most of us, (we) don’t like them, and I still wear a mask only because I feel weird not wearing one.”

“Yes and no because a lot of people are scared, but I think it’s the right decision.”

-Lisa Hines

Cydnei Rediford. first-year elementary education major

“I think it’s alright. I feel like the mask — people that want to wear them are still going to wear them, people who don’t want to won’t. The people who want to be protected and want to protect others can still wear their masks.”

“It gives more freewill for the students on campus. I feel like it’s natural for teenagers to be rebellious, so you’re not telling them they can’t and not telling them they have to.”

-Cydnei Rediford

Ty Miller. second-year philosophy major

“Although it is a valid decision, I feel when I was reading through the mandate, I felt that in order for this mask mandate to be open or released, there has to be more of a restriction in regards to vaccinations. I wish there was more for an extent of how many doses and boosters (to be enforced) because I feel there has to be some sense of a booster requirement in order for a mask mandate to be open due to the variety of variants.”

“I would say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ I feel in this sense, the release or this removal of the mandate somewhat feels like, ‘just see what happens next,’ somewhat like we’re Guinea pigs. However, I do feel this is a good thing in order to just see, just test the waters.”

-Ty Miller


Estrella Ortiz, first-year forensic science major

“(It) depends on the person. Some people have family who are sick and prone to be infected — it’s going to be hard for them because a lot of people are not going to wear the mask, and they’re going to be more exposed to it.”

“Not really because with removing the mandate, people are not going to wear the mask because most people don’t like wearing the mask. So with that, they’re going to make other people exposed, and it’s going to make more people get infected.”

-Estrella Ortiz

Gorge Rojas, second-year sociology major

“I think it could be controversial, depending on who the person is. If you look at it mentally, most people might think a mask is more like an accessory because COVID has lasted for so long. Personally, I don’t mind it: mask or no mask.”

“I would say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Yes, only because they’ve ensured that most people here have the booster shot by a certain period of time. But anyone (who) has gotten any of those three shots is a potential carrier of COVID-19. Regardless, mask or no mask, you’re still at risk of getting COVID-19.”

-Gorge Rojas

Aylinne Diaz, first-year nursing major

“I feel like everybody has their own choice. Everyone’s vaccinated, and there’s proof that there are not as many COVID cases.”

“I feel it’s a good idea because sometimes, I am wearing a mask all-day — it can be suffocating, (and), especially to people who have certain illnesses.” 

-Aylinne Diaz

Jose Diaz, second-year nursing major

“I’m a little nervous about it. I see people already taking their masks off, and I’m like, ‘It’s a lot safer to have a mask on.’ I wish they kept it just a little longer.” 

“A lot of people want to take their masks off, but I wish they didn’t. It would be better if they just kept the mandate together still.”

-Jose Diaz

Sonia Jaramillo, first-year biology major

“I didn’t expect it, especially so suddenly, and I feel they shouldn’t have done it yet. It’s too soon for possible COVID surges to happen again.”

“It’s not like COVID is gone — it’s still here, and people are still getting it. People are still in hospitals, and just because it’s less (cases), it doesn’t mean it’s going to go away. Lifting the mask mandate is going to increase it even more because we’re not ready yet.”

-Sonia Jaramillo

Courtland Thomas, second-year kinesiology major

“It all depends on how many people got vaccinated because at the end of the day, you’ll end up in a hospital, or you don’t.”

“It’s not my ability to decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because I work in the healthcare system, and no matter what, it could be COVID, MRSA, Ebola — all of those things are going to happen. It all depends on who’s protecting us from getting to that state in the first place.”

-Courtland Thomas
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