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VOX BUBBLE: Atlanta Teens Debate School Mask Mandates and Vaccinations

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The VOX BUBBLE series is where VOX ATL’s teen staff members give their bite-sized, unadulterated opinions about society, politics, and pop culture. Taken straight from the VOX ATL group chat, VOX BUBBLE is meant to be conversational in tone, and gives an easy-to-consume look at what Atlanta-area teens think about big issues in America. This week, we discussed the common misconceptions against the Covid-19 vaccine. 

As the pandemic is getting worse, cases are rising and students are full-time back in school, some students are concerned regarding their safety. Progressive school districts in Georgia, like Atlanta Public Schools, are enforcing mask rules and giving resources for year-round testing

There are some school districts in metro Atlanta, like Fulton and Cobb Counties, which are actively striving to reopen schools in the face of rising Covid-19 numbers while not demanding a mask mandate.

In counties like Fulton and Cobb, some students are fighting to get mask mandates, because they genuinely fear getting themselves or their high-risk relatives sick due to others’ sheer ignorance. While in counties like Gwinnett, parents are fighting to get the mask mandate removed. While this is a largely controversial debate, many teenagers here at VOX ATL believe that mask mandates and vaccines are going to bring the pandemic to a halt. 

What would you say to someone who does not want to get the vaccine because they are afraid of facing one of the common misconceptions like infertility, hospitalization due to harsh side effects or being chipped/tracked by the government?

“I would say to someone who does not want to get the vaccine to look around you; the world thought it would take more than a few years to obtain a vaccine that would make covid symptoms not be severe and slowly build immunity throughout the community. It took a year to get a vaccine, and why throughout decades of vaccines being used toward smallpox or the flu, why wouldn’t you want to utilize the only thing we have in fighting covid. “ – Ashleigh Ewald, Oglethorpe University

“I think that they aren’t as intelligent or woke as they think—the opposite, if I’m honest. Facebook and snake oil scammers will never compare to researchers and scientists [who] worked their entire life in their discipline.” – Zioni Moore, North Cobb High School

“I suggest doing your research! These misconceptions have been debunked.” – Belle Chapel, Duluth High School

Why did you choose to get vaccinated?

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“I chose to get vaccinated to protect myself and the community. I decided to get vaccinated because vaccines are such a powerful invention with the intent of people getting immunized not for personal reasons but getting vaccinated for society. Getting vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t get covid or a virus in general. Getting vaccinated prevents more severe illness once catching the virus and helps suppress the spread.” – Ashleigh Ewald, Oglethorpe University

“I chose to get vaccinated the first day people my age were able to. I wanted to protect not only myself, but also my family.” – Hannah Much, Pace Academy

“I wanted to protect myself and others from experiencing serious health problems from Covid-19!” – Belle Chapel, Duluth High School

Do you feel comfortable around students who refuse to get the vaccine or do not properly wear masks?

“I believe those decisions stem from personal reasons, but due to the abundance of misinformation, there is no shock that some students refuse the vaccine and mask-wearing. I actually don’t feel uncomfortable because something possibly happens in their lives to make them not want to pursue vaccines and wear masks. No person is born with particular views. Particular views are shaped by experiences, events, and an unforgettable past.”  – Ashleigh Ewald, Oglethorpe University

“…We’ve been in this pandemic for two years. That’s two years to see so much death and destruction and for it to not cause empathy within someone to do the right thing for others just once, then that truly shows what type of person they are.” – Zioni Moore, North Cobb High School

“Nothing bothers me more than people who wear their masks under their noses. It is disrespectful, harmful, and useless. I do feel somewhat uncomfortable around people who are not vaccinated.” – Hannah Much, Pace Academy

How can you get vaccinated? 

If you are above the age of 5, congrats, you are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Do your own research and reach out to your doctor, friends or family who are already vaccinated to decide which vaccine you pick, which may be based on age. (See details about which vaccine is available for your age group on the CDC’s website.) 

To find a vaccine provider near you, go to Information may be restricted in some states as additional US immunization providers and pharmacies are added. has further information about Covid-19 vaccination locations.

To locate vaccine locations near you in the United States, you can also text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233.

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