The Loosening of Mask Mandates
By Emily Harrison
Lion’s Roar Staff
As more people in the U.S. are becoming fully vaccinated, the CDC has relaxed the mask wearing regulations for the nation. Ever since the first vaccines were administered, the question has remained as to whether or not fully vaccinated people still have to wear masks not only in private settings but also public places.
According to the CDC, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
With already 36% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated (New York Times), it seems like the summer of twenty twenty one can finally be one of the most normal experiences that we as humans have had in a long time.
That being said, it is important to get the vaccine(s) for COVID-19 so that everyone will be able to enjoy the normal life they once had. The loosened mask mandate is a huge step in the return to the normal world, but this is something that can also get out of hand. Just because fully vaccinated people are allowed to go mask-free in most settings now, does not mean that those who have not received vaccines can take advantage of this.
Most public settings are not checking people’s vaccination status which does allow for the people who want an excuse to not wear a mask. Customers at retail locations like Target, Starbucks, CVS, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s, are already not required to wear masks in the stores,unless they are required by law.
Along with the loosening mask restrictions, social distancing requirements in indoor and outdoor settings have also been jettisoned. Someone can be considered fully vaccinated after two weeks of their second dose of Moderna, Pfizer, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is only one dose.
Any American over the age of 12 is eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine as it was authorized by the FDA on May 10th. Some young people--along with their parents--are worried about the possible and unknown long term effects of getting the vaccine. But without as many people getting vaccines as possible, we cannot completely return to a sense of normalcy. There are no real immediate dangerous side effects of the COVID vaccines being administered except for headache, nausea, tiredness, and muscle aches.
The relaxing of mask mandates in the month of May is a huge step to defeating COVID-19 but without the continuing population of Americans who keep getting vaccinated, we can’t make progress. The summer of 2021 is looking optimistic with the chance that more mandates will be loosened with the increase of the vaccinated population in America.