California school mask rules ‘like second nature’ now, don’t faze many students

California
Students attend an in-person English class at St. Anthony Catholic High School on March 24, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Students attend an in-person English class at St. Anthony Catholic High School on March 24, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Some high school students take “mask breaks” and go outside for gulps of unfiltered air. They are irked by the beads of sweat on their upper lip in the heat, but nothing that a quick swipe can’t handle. They have learned to talk louder in class. A student sitting at her desk plans for a drink of water — mask down, sip, mask up. And sports conditioning while masked? Exhausting yet better than sitting at home.

As California begins to return to fully reopened campuses this month for in-person learning, the state’s mandatory mask rule will continue to be part of the new normal for all K-12 schools, which join a growing list of counties and public places that require indoor masking amid the COVID-19 surge fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

If past months and the first days of the new year are any indication of how students are dealing with the latest coronavirus school rule, many say they are largely over it. They have adjusted to the discomfort and would much rather be in school with their friends than at home on a computer.

“It’s become like second nature in a sense,” said Deven Allen, 17, an incoming senior at Lawndale High School. “You kind of can’t leave the house without a mask. You kind of feel naked without it.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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