By Makayla Cook
In the midst of the global pandemic, students at William Peace University are trying their best to play their part in reducing the spread. Many individuals have purchased fashion masks in order to reflect their own style, ranging from flowers to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although most students are not enjoying having to follow protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, and frequently sanitizing high touchpoints, those are the things keeping them at Peace.
The majority of them are in agreement that even though it is not the best experience that they have had, they are glad to be back on campus.
Nicole Holmes, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre said that she “absolutely” believes that masks are becoming a trend during this time. She chose her mask, fairly colorful and floral, because she thought it was “super cute”, saying that “people just thank me for wearing my mask.”
“You have to wear it and if it’s going to be a key part of your outfit it might as well be cute …I enjoy putting on a fashion mask way more than I enjoy putting on a disposable mask,” Holmes said.
Another student, Lily Kang, a senior also majoring in musical theatre, got her mask from a woman who makes them in her hometown.
A lot of people with a skill for crafts are taking advantage of the demand for masks and selling them on platforms such as Offerup, Facebook Marketplace, and Etsy. Using a skill that they already possess is a sure way for them to earn a little extra cash.
Kang says that before masks were required as a result of COVID-19, masks were already frequently worn as accessories for some individuals.
“I believe there were people who were wearing masks beforehand and they were a really cool trend, I feel they’re [people who wore masks before the pandemic] winning right now,” said Kang, “I think they’re becoming a major trend.”
To some students, wearing masks gives them the opportunity to express themselves through fashion. In recent times, there are more people every day that wear masks with facial expressions on them, cartoon characters, or their favorite band. For Dallas Russell, a junior majoring in biology, this is precisely the case.
“I just wanted to stand out, I’ve never been the person to wear something that everybody has, I like to be different,” Russell said.
Some students are using their masks in order to root for controversial issues. Dallan Russell, a junior majoring in graphic design, has been wearing a black mask with the words “black lives matter” printed on the front.
“There’s a lot of systematic racism and police brutality across the country and there has been little to nothing done about it,” Russell said, “I’ve had no negative remarks made to me about the mask, only positive ones.”
Regardless of the reason behind why some people chose the masks that they wear, it is great that students are taking the matter seriously. As a result, WPU has managed to keep its few cases of the coronavirus under control and keep the community safe. Seeing students around Peace wearing their colorful and interesting masks makes the requirement for mask wearing a little less rough.