Facemasks: Bewilderment and resignation

Students and supervisor on the new facemask requirement.

Who would have thought? Students are now required to wear facemasks during lectures and while studying in the library. Resource visited Forum and talked to students and a supervisor.

Text and photographs: Susan van Weperen

Esmee Barnin, toezichthouder
Esmee Barnin, supervisor

Esmee Barnin (43) – supervisor Forum 

‘The measure is still confusing for many students’  

‘Students are required to wear a facemask when seated now. I have seen that this still confuses many of them. Moreover, it is inconvenient when eating: You must lower the mask to take a bite and then raise it again. This means touching the mask, which enables the bacteria on your hands to transfer onto the mask. There are quite a few people who don’t wear the mask when they are seated together, and we, as supervisors, are expected to enforce the measure. Yes, I do understand this is unpleasant. But these are the rules.’

Annelot, student
Annelot, student

Annelot (21) – master’s student of Forest and Nature Management

‘Once I’ve been wearing it for a while, I tend to forget about it’

‘Having to wear a facemask indoors is far from ideal. But with each new covid measure I always think: “If it is safer, I’m fine with it”. Once I’ve been wearing my facemask for a while, I tend to forget about it, although an entire day of wearing a facemask is rather long. I come to the campus four times per week now and wear a facemask during practicals. Practicals take three to four hours, so I am rather relieved when I can remove the mask at the end of the day.’

Maikel Versantvoort, student
Maikel Versantvoort, student

Maikel Versantvoort (24) – bachelor student of Biology

‘I prefer to attend lectures from home, without a facemask’

‘It is quite the opposite of pleasant, especially during long practicals and lectures. Moreover, I wear glasses, and that, in combination with a facemask, is annoying. Sometimes I wonder if a facemask helps, but I assume that those making the rules know what they are doing. I have a total of eight hours of lectures on campus, plus my online lectures. These can sometimes also be attended face-to-face, but I prefer watching them from home where I don’t have to wear a facemask.’

Elia Turato, student
Elia Turato, student

Elia Turato (24) – master’s student Plant Breeding

‘Meeting online is really tough’

‘It’s weird to have to wear a facemask once again. We didn’t have to wear them for a few weeks, and now the measure has been reinstated all of a sudden. Getting used to it once again is challenging. Before, keeping a one-and-a-half-metre distance was sufficient, and now it suddenly no longer is. Confusing, right? Why not just the social distancing we had before? Now I have to wear a facemask in Forum, and meeting online is really difficult. Others are not able to hear me properly, and I have trouble hearing them, which is confusing. And you can’t really see each other. No, I don’t like it at all.’

Louise Jansseune, student
Louise Jansseune, student

Louise Jansseune (18) – bachelor student Animal Sciences

‘Annoying with glasses’

‘I’m from France, where facemasks were already mandatory, so the new measure does not come as a shock to me. I do wonder what the benefit of a facemask is when people are seated by themselves with everyone else at least 1.5 metres away. I understand the need during lectures because people are packed closer together. In such situations, a facemask can make a difference. We are also no longer permitted to wear facemasks made of textile, which is a pity as they are slightly more comfortable, especially with my glasses.’

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