New Haven students take part in selfie challenge to highlight the importance of wearing masks


 NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Students and social media seem to go hand in hand, and the city of New Haven hopes they will help spread the word about the importance of wearing a mask.

During a Zoom call with city and health officials, students from the Common Ground High School showed how they plan to help spread the word about the importance of wearing a mask.

“There’s like two layers,” said student Dayanara Chacon, who demonstrated how she would wear one of her masks. “Good and then I can fit it over my nose and everything. You can see. I look ten times better like this.”

Chacon showed how the masks can be functional and fashionable. The students are helping kick start the new social media challenge.

“Today I’m inspired by students that are playing a leadership role when they know that their voice and their actions can significantly impact the actions of so many community members,” said Mayor Justin Elicker, (D) New Haven.

The campaign is called the ‘Mask Up New Haven Challenge’ and that’s also one of the hashtags.

“Hashtag NHP in your caption, as well as tell us why you wear a mask,” said Ermonda Gjoni-Markaj, a community worker with the New Haven Health Department. “For example I wear a mask to protect my grandparents.”

The students are asked to post the masked selfies on their social media, tag at least five of their friends and the New Haven Health Department so folks there can share them as well.

The students will share their selfies and experiences.

“I seen like the major toll that it’s taken on our whole entire community,” said student Sierra.

“Some people are selfish and like they will still go out knowing they have COVID and won’t tell a single person that they have it,” said student Ebriana Eden.

They can also share the challenges they’ve faced during this pandemic

“One of the biggest problems that COVID has caused in school is college applications,” said Chacon.

Real teens with real concerns. Emalee Ocasio has seen her grades drop during remote learning.

“Because I’ve had so much going on with my mom and babysitting the kids in my family,” said Ocasio.

Like many they want this pandemic to end and they are hoping to help keep people safe until it does.

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