Written by: Benjamin Chang

Edited by: Anngu Chang

Photographs by: Gracy Wen

Nov. 26th. 2020

Ten months after the outbreak of COVID-19, many countries are still bearing the consequences of delayed government response and public ignorance.

With U.S. President Donald Trump hospitalized and a spike of confirmed cases in Eastern Europe, the pandemic has shown little signs of easing. Fortunately, Taiwan’s successful attempt in containing COVID means that students can continue their education despite the unprecedented challenges the world is facing at the moment.

Since the implementation of a stringent mask-wearing policy by the Central Epidemic Control Center (CECC), PAS has followed suit. A question was inevitably raised: How has the attitude of students wearing masks changed throughout these months?

Before the imposition of a mask-wearing policy by CECC, students at PAS were already wearing masks. More concerned students even wore medical level N95 masks, fearing the slightest contact with the perilous virus. As summer approached and conditions improved in Taiwan, students began to express discontent with wearing masks. Notably, some students believe that masks have hindered their daily activities and caused skin issues under the scorching summer heat.

Nonetheless, the majority of students have recognized the importance of wearing

masks. Allison Liu (11) reckoned that “masks are uncomfortable to wear, but we have to protect ourselves from a virus that’s devious.” Liu further explained that not only would masks prevent COVID from spreading, but it would “impede the disperse of common cold and flu.”

Comparing different schools’ responses to COVID, an alumnus of PAS pointed out that PAS students are more willing to follow rules. Brian Duan, now enrolled in a school in China, observed that students in Mainland China “tend to ignore wearing masks.” He explained that students trust their safe and isolated campus in addition to governmental efforts, whereas students at PAS wear masks, aware of the consequences of not taking the preventative measures seriously. Still, Duan pointed out that students at his school still “take precautionary measures by wearing masks outside of campus to protect themselves.”

After the lift of COVID restrictions mid-summer, students have continued to wear masks to protect themselves. However, the recent reimposition of the mask-wearing policy implies that students would need time to readjust back to school days with masks on after experiencing a brief “liberation”.

Despite the inconvenience masks may bring, students at PAS have high self-awareness, prompting themselves to take necessary measures to prevent COVID. The habit of wearing masks nurtured in the COVID era could potentially affect hygiene practices in the future.