Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Free Us From Our Muzzles

Immature. Inappropriate. Ill-informed. All words I would use to describe Upper Merion’s culture surrounding masks. Take a look around or rather, just take a look in the mirror. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my mask above or under my nose? Have I been constantly readjusting my mask only to wear it incorrectly? Is this a one-time or repeated offense? 

In denial? No worries – I can answer for you! At any given time, I can point out at least five people whose masks are practically off their faces – so not HORNS UP! 

When interviewing a current UMAHS student about UM’s mask culture, they retorted: “I almost want to play the ‘I’ve-got-your-nose’ game with the number of students I’ve seen wearing their masks incorrectly. Since these high schoolers want to act like kids, might as well play some children’s games to compensate.” Anyone up for a game of  “I Spy” while we sit and watch Cocomelon?

Now, maybe I’m being too harsh. After all, wearing a mask for six hours is taxing and can have adverse effects. According to the CDC, “…mask wearing has no significant adverse health effects for wearers” but what do they know – it’s not like they’re the foremost health institution in the United States or anything. They’re falsifying data at this point and a recent infographic that’s been circulating around on social media has provided far more reliable information. Said infographic displays what can happen when one wears a mask for an extended period of time. The amount of exhaled CO2 one breathes back in can lead to hypercapnia – a health condition including symptoms of “dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and disorientation” (Reuters). God help us all – the government is trying to kill us!

With this newfound information – I think it only makes sense for Upper Merion to do the right thing and go maskless – so far as to ban masks completely. After all, we’re just kids. We don’t deserve to be muzzled and abused. Free us from our muzzles and do what’s right. 

While mask believers may argue that masks flatten the curve – at what cost? At the cost of distracting students from learning? At the cost of our emotional development? At the cost of our physical wellbeing? I’ve seen firsthand how students in study hall have fainted while playing Among Us after the prolonged wearing of their masks. We must do better. 

It’s ultimately up to the district to decide what they value more – false claims made by the government or the pleads and cries of their students. Soon, Cocomelon won’t be enough to silence students and they will revolt in a way Karl Marx could only have dreamt of. 

I have been fortunate enough to witness brave individuals who have taken it upon themselves to start the revolution and protest these cruel conditions. It was truly beautiful to see students at one of our basketball games take off their masks during the playing of the national anthem – this is America! 
If the district chooses not to act – the student body will. I can already hear their chants echoing through the night:  “MASKS OFF and HORNS UP!”


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Malak is a sophomore and this is her second year writing for VC and her first year as EIC. When she's not writing questionable literature, she enjoys creating video segments for the Morning Buzz, participating in Speech & Debate, playing the flute in band, working in stage crew for the UM Underground Players, among many other extracurriculars. Outside of school (and procrastinating), Malak can be found watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix while drinking an unhealthy amount of cold brew.