The great mask muddle

The CDC has said that those of us fully vaccinated can, in most situations, stop wearing masks. And so the mask burnings have begun. People everywhere are gleefully abandoning their masks and rediscovering what the lower half of a human face looks like.

Except, of course, the anti-maskers. From Day One they have staunchly refused to wear masks. Never mind their risk of catching Covid, or of infecting others. Those infernal masks were an unconstitutional government intrusion, an invasion of their rights as free citizens to do what they damn well please.

Hence the problem. How are conscientious citizens supposed to know if an unmasked person is fully vaccinated or is a resister who has never worn a mask and likely, for the same reasons, has not gotten vaccinated? Especially in this era of political divisiveness, who can or should you trust?

Further complicating the situation are children under 12 years of age who are not yet eligible for the Covid vaccine. Yet they can contract the disease and are fully capable of spreading it to others. The very young cannot even be masked. You can ditch your mask if you want, but if you are not vaccinated, you’re still at risk from children. And they are still at risk from you.

It’s a conundrum for the American public. And I, although fully vaccinated, will be keeping my mask close at hand for the foreseeable future. Not that I don’t trust you. It’s the children and all those unmasked, unvaccinated others that concern me.

15 thoughts on “The great mask muddle

  1. On the surface, yes.
    But this vaccine thing gets in to HIPA and individual medical privacy.
    Many of us feel that if you are an adult, have health issues, vaccines are the best shot against COVID
    Maybe like abortion. Get one you want or don’t get one if you don’t want. No one should force either on anyone.

    The vaccines are experimental – and there are risks ( blood clots and brain bleeds were effects hidden from the public from the beginning). No one knows what the long term effects are. Not right to force people to be experimental cohorts.

    Realistically everyday there are people unvaccinated against measles, mumps, chicken pox, TB – and other illnesses – even the basic flu – walking around among you every day, – and they can spread diseases to others – some diseases very dangerous for adults, seniors, those with compromised immune systems. You never know who is sick or hasn’t had vaccines or kept up with boosters. Yes, inconsiderate.

    Protect yourself and don’t depend on other to change their life out of concern for you.

    (PS big big studies and data are showing that kids rarely get sick and after studying school data in Europe where they never closed school found less than .1% spread to school staff. They are not spreaders. Pediatric groups are begging schools to open and without masks which are have the potential to cause major problems in speech development (dooming kids for speech therapy- they will love that), emotional fears and anxiety in small children with the adult hysteria – inability learn and interpret facial expressions which causes problems with social skills into adulthood (studies with autistic students who do not comprehend facial expressions of others resulted in actually teaching those kids what facial expressions mean. Those kids greatly improved in groups and social situation once they learned that).
    Leave the kids alone – and stop setting them up for failure. They do not get seriously sick and may gain immunity. They do not spread. Close indoor quarters, hallways with sick people and contaminated areas cause spread. When I hear noted research pediatric scientists saying “Oh, yes, we need the kids to get vaccinated so we can see if there are any long term effects and efficiency of the vaccines – we plan on following them for years” all I can think is..they do not know – these are experimental ….and they want data….may not go well for the kids, but hey we’ll have data. Many docs/med staff are not vaccinating their kids ’cause they know the truth.)

    You’re vaccinated. Outdoors is safe. Your small pod is safe. Masks still good to me for crowded indoors and around large groups…good dry masks, not humid damp ones from your own breathing or damp environment or those porous cloth one…preferable N95s or why bother.
    You take care of you better than anyone else. Trust instincts and to heck with the others.
    Now if we can just see those old discards masks from becoming an environmental litter disaster…like used diapers are

    1. When I say “kids” or “children,” I mean those 12 and under. Too young to be vaccinated, but not too young to get and/or spread Covid. Children make up about 12% of US Covid cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and at the end of 2020 at least 172 children were known to have died from Covid. Children’s symptoms can be so mild that no one realizes they have Covid.

      1. There are always casualties among those with weak immune systems/underlying conditions – or for reasons we do not understand – as the trials here at TX Children’s found – even with the vaccine found.
        There is a big split among pediatricians – even noted ones – whether to vaccinate the youngest – like infant to 6-7 yrs. Studies are not complete, but even those who get COVID just get a mild case, recover and gain antibodies ( which would seem the best case scenario). Masking very young kids has serious consequences- for social, emotional, and language development. Pediatricians/child psychologists/sociologists here are beginning to sound the alarm
        Older kids, middle/high school probably should get and are getting the vaccine – although that should be parental choice – it is experimental and there are risks/long term effects not understood.
        Your personal health issues are your personal health information and must remain private.
        Glad adults can get the vaccine and have pretty good protection ( with other precautions used was needed) Only 12 vaccinated adults have died – and 4 had previous conditions./weak immune systems.
        It’s important to take care of yourself – and not worry about others.
        Remember when they stopped making incoming school kids show proof they were free of TB – yet made teacher prove every year they were free and clear? Makes little sense, but that’s the precedent.
        CO. has so many tourists/international visitors it is bound to cause difficulty in controlling the virus/getting a clear picture of community spread as they may have been exposed before even being there – or gotten it there. We have massive numbers of over the border immigrants going through the airports here for connecting flights/settling in the areas – many are known by border patrol testing to have the disease/ or have no testing ( and are tired, weakened by their travels to get there) yet time limits demand their release into the country.
        All you can do is take care of yourself and hope this vaccine works.
        Some docs here have worked with cases from the beginning and have managed to not get sick yet gain/have tested to have protective antibodies. Eventually maybe all will do the same?

        1. I’m not suggesting those youngest children should be vaccinated or wear masks. I’m saying that because those kiddos can both get and spread Covid, adults should either be vaccinated or should continue to wear masks for a while longer. It’s no violation of privacy to have to show your vaccination card. But I suspect those who have refused to wear masks will also refuse to get vaccinated. There are still plenty of people around who will continue to go unmasked and unvaccinated and will slow this nation’s (and the world’s) effort to get Covid under control.

          It’s not like I’m alone in my concern. Plenty of businesses, industries, countries still require masks and/or proof of vaccination.

          1. I have given up trying to “help” other people at this point. It’s not like there’s a lot of choices that are great. Still we are citizens not subjects – get the info and make your best guess. People seem not to take responsibility for themselves and others like they used to. But I give up
            If they don’t make your status with measles, flu and other communicable diseases public with cards, it will be difficult. So many exemptions. Cards can be interpreted as HIPA violation – that’s already been said -which may be why the Gov seems to be trying to get private industry and employers to do it rather than the Gov saying you have to show it.
            A bit of concern is last nights “news”/reveal that both 2 dose vaccines seem to be causing heart inflammation in the ages 16-20 group – ERs, pediatricians, and docs, are being warned here to check when and what vaccine the child got and when. Apparently this showed up in trials, too but they decided to OK anyway.
            That’s the biggest problem…like with birth control pills a major blood clot factor for young women taking these vaccines (Europe says Pfizer was the worst). People are hesitant to trust what they are being told/not told. Mixed messages. Gov.elected officials wearing masks after getting vaccines are signaling it may not be working or they do not trust it
            And I do not know how anyone can expect people to come in 8-10 months after getting shots for a necessary booster when they can’t even get them in for the 2nd dose. Bungled implementation and messaging.
            What a mess.
            Allyou can do is manage yourself – and you will do better than anyone else at that.
            The little kids. It’s just sad what their world is like for them now. (Keep them all outside as much as possible – and as free range as possible! )

  2. johnthecook…The wearing of “The Mask” is a conundrum at best! Why it was just this past weekend that our own Chanel 3 TV in Phoenix,AZ was reporting that many business in AZ and around the USA were opening up and relaxing the requirement of Masks. On the other hand, there are CDC spokespersons who are saying that even if you are fully vaccinated you should continue wearing your mask and practice social distancing. Then we have our local Public Schools and parents of those students , who are sitting on the fence (as it were) not completely sure on what to do about the mask situation. And then there are the Teachers and the Teacher Unions and their own take on “Masks” WHAT A COMPLETE BAG OF WORMS! It is no wonder that America is divided. Here is my suggestion…IF the mask thing is working for you…wear it, but remember, it is not full proof or fool proof.

    1. Yes, Colorado, too, has opened up. No more required restrictions from the state, and businesses are being allowed to decide for themselves whether to require masks on customers. Personally, I’m afraid it’s all a bit too soon, but I’ve always been the cautious type. Although fully vaccinated since February, I continue to carry a mask for when I’m in enclosed or crowded places. Locally, all medical facilities are still requiring them, along with several national grocery chains and a mix of smaller businesses. Delivery drivers coming to my house are still all masked. It seems wise to err on the side of caution.

  3. If you have been vaccinated there should be no fear as it will protect you, if the vaccine is any good. Anyone without a vaccine will have to rely on their own immune system. I don’t think anyone should be wary of mixing with other people who has been immunised especially now the flu season is ending. Also people who have been immunised can pass on infections.
    In the UK I have seen figures for how many people who have died from Covid-19 below 65 and it’s 576! The average age of those who have died while having tested positive for Covid-19 and died within 28 days of that test is 82. In the UK if you test positive for Covid-19 and you die within 28 days, even if you got run over or had a heart attack and died, you go down as a Covid-19 death. Is it the same over there?

    1. Yes, something like that. I’m not afraid for myself anymore, but for those who are still unvaccinated and want to be. (Children, people living in remote areas, those without transportation, etc.) The statistics here change every day and are calculated in many different ways, depending on the source. But the consensus seems to be that we probably won’t achieve herd immunity.

  4. Something I realized, then told a couple friends: most people wearing the masks aren’t doing so because they fear dying. They fear peer pressure. They are afraid to truly think for themselves. As such, they are subject to mass hypnotism, which is what we’re seeing. It’s quite fascinating, but also very troubling, but explains so much.

    1. I don’t think it’s hypnotism in the true sense. But as we come out of the pandemic year, there’s a lot of confusion about what to do, where, and when. Confusion, insecurity, social and peer pressure. I first wore a mask because I was terrified of getting sick and dying (I’m 78). After I got vaccinated, I kept wearing one because I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but it made me and those around me feel safer. And a lot of places were still requiring masks. If I were working and my employer required it, I would certainly wear one. And if people around me are wearing them, I will too, if only to make them feel safer. Masks are still required in all medical facilities and I’ll certainly abide by that. I always have one in the car in case I want it, and take it with me if I’m going in any place. There’s still a lot of Covid out there, and a lot of unvaccinated people. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      1. I understand the words, but I don’t understand the thinking. And being a little younger than you, I really don’t get it. Let me explain in short. From early on, I began learning to think for myself because I “discovered” there are people, often en masse, that will talk as knowing or “experts”, but are seriously flawed. Therefore, I learned to think for myself. Yes, that comes with consequences, but I’d rather live that way then allow the cover be thrown over my eyes to make anyone feel “good.” I don’t trust anyone who is more concerned with my feelings than what is true. I know, many people don’t live that way, but I can’t stop believing that it’s best to live in propaganda. **By the way, the part of the solution is not buying into propaganda.

        1. I base my decisions on what I glean from many different sources (liberal and conservative, academic, etc.). Then layered onto that are my own feelings, intuition, education, upbringing, and consideration of others. I believe that for the most part a good education and critical thinking allow a person to identify and not fall prey to propaganda. But if you think my past mask-wearing makes me a patsy, hypnotized by propaganda, I probably can’t convince you otherwise.

          1. Each person shares, and for readers, they decide what is right for themselves. That’s the great thing in a constitutional nation. The beauty of when we were growing up, was at school and in the neighborhoods, among friends, family discussing as well, is people discussed, really thought, and agreed or disagreed, which is the hallmark of people thinking for themselves. Can’t help how people perceive words. That’s up to them. But we can speak our views, as in this public forum, and allow readers to come to their own informed or misinformed conclusions.

... and that's my two cents