Mask Up, Mountain Lions

Michael Cheuvront, Reporter

  The adjustment to Colorado’s recent mandate to require facial coverings in public places has undoubtedly been challenging for some people. From having to spend hard-earned money on masks to the inevitable glasses-fogging, it’s easy to see why it’s been such a strange transition. Some Mountain View students, however, saw the governing decision as a golden opportunity to express their personality. Whether it’s a colorful pattern or a witty slogan painted on the front, Mountain Lions have proven their capability to make the best of a troubling time.

  Senior Melena Tester is a prime example of a student who views the new mandate as more than just a facial covering. She’s currently sporting a black reusable mask with green flames embroidered on the front. “I figured if we have no choice but to wear them, I might as well make it interesting,” she said. Like many students, Tester came across this mask by accident. These pop-ups have become prevalent due to the amount of advertising that the face mask industry has pushed during COVID-19. “I found some cool ones online after getting ads for them, and I decided on this one. It was kind of an impulse buy, but I definitely don’t regret it.” 

  Reusable masks like Tester’s have been increasing in popularity in opposition to the one-time use disposable ones. While it may seem like a colorful flame mask is as good as it gets regarding uniqueness, Tester says she’s seen plenty of face coverings that are even more bizarre. “I’ve seen some that are completely holographic and some that are completely clear. I wouldn’t wear that one, though, because I like not having to smile or worry about half my face when I’m in public.” No matter what students decide to sport, the consensus reveals that masks have more benefits than previously thought. Hiding a fake smile, for example, is a blessing in disguise, according to Tester.

  Despite the outrageous facial coverings saturating the current market, some students prefer to keep it simple. Aside from disposable masks, a plain black one works just fine. Senior Gabby Jackson has been rocking one with nothing except a black concrete exterior. No matter the design, a piece of cloth covering most of the face comes with its pros and cons. “My least part about wearing a mask is not getting to see everyone’s full faces, and it’s caused me to have crazy acne breakouts.” ‘Mascne’, a name dubbed by students that refers to mask-induced acne breakouts, is a less desirable side effect of the state mandate. Subtle body language, like facial expressions, has also been concealed. According to Jackson, this has been a complicated daily occurrence. However, as the pandemic progresses, more people are beginning to acclimate and adjust to these face-fitting accessories. “I’ve definitely gotten used to wearing the masks and don’t find it too annoying anymore,” said Jackson.

  Even though she chooses to sport a more simplistic design, Jackson still finds herself fascinated by other people’s masks’ creativity. “Some people think wearing fun masks aren’t necessary, but I think that since we are required to wear them, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re happy and comfortable.”

  Whether it’s a holographic, colorful, transparent, or even just a solid black facial covering, the variety of options seen in the Mountain View community is unmatched. Despite the adverse effects and communication restrictions, these masks don’t seem to be going anywhere for a long time. Students like Melena Tester might be seen at school with a show-stopping design, whereas people like Gabby Jackson might prefer to stay a spectator. Regardless, wearing a mask is legally required, and some Mountain View students are certainly having a fun time with it. Mask up, mountain lions!