May 19, 2021: Costco, Cox Farms Nursery, Aldi. Unmasked. Following the CDC change of recommendation for mask wearing, I went without a mask although I had one around my wrist. Just in case. The wording is mostly clear: “Update that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” The summary section here.
I was pleased, liberated even. And yes, feeling a bit rebellious because not everyone was unmasked. Over the weekend and all afternoon Tuesday, I wore a mask almost constantly: 3 airplanes and airports, Deseret Industries, Ross required A few other places sported recommended, which I took to mean not required and didn’t.
As recently as April 19, 2021, CDC had extensive advice for the group referred to as “unvaccinated people,” although we remember that the same was also intended for the vaccinated. The main thrust seemed to be protection of others, with the wearer a secondary target. I also heard from vaccinated people that they continued to wear masks outside “to set a good example.”
Questions remain, of course. Did masks ever really help? Probably—maybe 50% per a Danish study that some tried to “explain.” That Dr. Anthony Fauci lied about not wearing masks early in the pandemic didn’t help, though he has said he doesn’t regret doing so. Will mask be worn from now on during flu season? The CDC says no except for healthcare workers. Droplets etc…just like COVID-19.
Some shouldn’t have been wearing masks anyway (children under 2, people who have trouble breathing, someone who is unconscious, someone who needs help getting one off), which seems both obvious and observable. There were obviously rebels before May 13, of course. Vaccinated and standing outside, I heard from a man inside a takeout window that I needed to put my mask on. Where’s the science in that? Droplets, people.
HOWEVER, some people still wear masks. The unvaccinated, regardless of their reasons: chemo, transplant recipients, high risk people (older, heavier, diabetic, afflicted with kidney or liver disease, pregnant, Down syndrome, full list). Yes, those who are scared of taking the mask off. And you know what? That’s ok. If you choose to or need to wear a mask, wear it. It isn’t any of my business. It isn’t anyone’s business. When we couldn’t go into Costco without a mask, the dynamics were different (Ricky Shroder’s short-lived boycott aside). Things changed quickly. Let’s not judge. Smile, and not just with your eyes. Let the wearers alone.