Masks are on school supply lists this year, along with pencils, pens, paper and crayons.
Last spring, everyone stopped going to school and had to take lessons at home.
Over the summer, the big folks who run things have been working hard to decide whether school should open for the new school year or if schoolchildren should stay at home and take their lessons online.
All over the country different states have made different decisions about that. Here in Texas, the decision has been to open schools, but with new rules to keep teachers and students safe.
One of those rules for most students in most grades will be everyone has to wear a mask.
A lot of kids have not had to wear them yet. It might take some time to get used to wearing masks, but before long it will start to seem normal. Wear a mask every day and by the end of the first week you will probably forget you even have it on.
Grownups have been going back and forth over wearing masks. Maybe you have heard them. Not everyone agrees that masks are necessary.
Some people say anyone wearing a mask can still catch the germs that cause COVID-19. Others argue we should each wear a mask, not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us. We can have those germs in our mouths and noses a long time before they make us sick. That means we can spread those germs to others without even being sick ourselves.
The reason for wearing a mask when we are around others is to help stop those germs from coming out of our mouths and noses when we breathe, or talk, or sneeze, or cough, or yell, or whistle, or laugh. That way, if we have those germs and do get sick from them, we will have kept the germs to ourselves and not made anyone else sick.
Your parents might have a thing or two to say about all of this. Talk to them. Your parents might disagree with your teachers. That happens sometimes. If it happens with your parents and teachers, and leaves you feeling caught in the middle, tell your parents and teacher that, too.
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