On Ending the Mask Mandates

Man. I leave the mainland for a few days, and everything changes while I’m gone. What’s up with that, America?

Before I left on my vacation, I probably would have had many more issues with the speed of this mask mandate change. Now that I’ve been 6 days among the general population, however? I don’t have nearly as big of an issue with it.

Here’s the thing: from what I’ve now seen, I believe masking has largely been an exercise in health theatrics. Don’t get me wrong. I believe they were (and are) necessary for those people who aren’t vaccinated, and I believe they work, and I believe people who aren’t vaccinated should continue to wear them. (This includes both Daniela and MC, since neither one is vaccinated yet.) However, I also believe the evidence the CDC based its change on is as clear as it’s going to get for now. Vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks.

I know the question that’s going to follow: “But what about all the unvaccinated who are just going to lie and say they’re vaccinated so they don’t have to wear a mask?” Except those people haven’t really been masking anyway, folks. While I was away on vacation, I saw so many different approaches to mask wearing. You’ve got the nosers, who just tuck it under the nose. You’ve got the Abraham Lincolners, who treat it like some sort of chin strap. You’ve got the handers, who keep it in their hands. And you’ve got a lot of people who adjust it so that it’s just close enough to look like it’s on their nose, without actually having it on their nose. (Seriously. I watched older men on two separate occasions fuss with their masks for a long time to just them just right. As in “just right below their nose, where they won’t do nearly as much good.”)

It was one thing to come across these types in Walmart or out and about, but when I was on vacation, I saw so many, it was all much easier to recognize. And having a mask in the general vicinity of your face instead of actually on your face is a huge difference. If nothing else, changing this mandate will make it less likely that people will yell at each other over the issue, or worse.

What will I personally do? I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do. If I’m out and about outside, I won’t wear a mask, I don’t think. There’s just no evidence to say it’s necessary. If I want to go into a store that has a sign that says “Please wear a mask,” then I’ll put a mask on. It’s not difficult. If I’m visiting a friend and they want me to have a mask on, I’ll put one on. That’s just being courteous. If a friend visits me and they’ve been vaccinated? No mask needed!

It does get trickier for my two daughters who haven’t been vaccinated yet. True, COVID is generally less dangerous to them than regular influenza, but there are some fringe cases where they can get long COVID or MIS-C. So I’ll be having my girls mask up when they’re inside with other people, and I’ll think twice before I have them go someplace inside as well. Not necessarily because I’m terrified they’ll get COVID, but more that I want to do what we can to continue slowing the spread of the disease. Kids get COVID and give it to others. Like, for example, those unvaccinated people who think it’s a hoax and lie about being vaccinated so that they don’t have to wear a mask. I might think those people are behaving foolishly, but I still don’t want them to get sick.

It’s called “being kind and considerate,” and it’s something I’ve been trying to be more of, even during the pandemic. I highly recommend it.


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