‘People are avoidant to go back to how things were’: student

By: Danna Bianca Carreon

Students at RRC Polytech have varied opinions on whether masks should be mandated in the province, as cases of respiratory illnesses continue to surge across the province.

“I always wear a mask to protect myself and others. There are lots of students in the same room, and it would be easy to infect others,” said Lijing She, 45, a Business Administration student.

Tehvv Rudd, a second-year Business Administration student, noticed more people on the campus are getting sick with winter approaching.

“If it saves people’s lives, then I’m okay with wearing a mask,” said Rudd, 24.

However, he understands that people are trying to move forward.

“I think the reason why they won’t bring back masks is that people don’t want to backtrack. That was a really tough time. I think people are avoidant to go back to how things were,” Rudd added.

Students with and without masks share the common space for online learning at RRC Polytech’s Exchange District Campus on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Danna Bianca Carreon)

Kyle Schewe said he observed a decline in students’ attendance in the past weeks. He has been teaching in the Electrical Engineering Technology program for eight years.

“It’s because of COVID-19, RSV, and flu,” said Schewe, 42.

Arvee Mendez, 28, a first-year Business Information Technology student, thinks it’s a good idea to wear masks again, especially with the province’s COVID-19 threat level returning to severe this November.

“Here on campus, I would recommend its use in areas like libraries,” said Mendez.

Mendez is unsure whether the province needs to move toward more intensive measures.

“It’s hard to say. There’s a blurred line for what’s considered flu and what’s COVID-19 because we cannot even fully rely on a rapid test,’’ Mendez said. “I think it’s just a bad flu season.”

For Network Services Technician student Luke Perez, it is a tough decision to bring back the mask mandate.

“However, you don’t really know what kind of health problems complete strangers have that you’re walking around with,” said Perez, 20.

Some students believe it may be better to consider other alternatives to reduce the spread of viruses.

“The best measure we could possibly take without having to wear a mask is enforcing social distancing,” Perez added.