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The Lifting of the Mask Mandate Isn’t as Nice as it Sounds

Over the past week, both the mandates for indoor and outdoor mask-wearing were lifted in the United States for vaccinated individuals. Because of this, everyone has been celebrating; this moment shows progress to our return to normal life. But with every celebration, comes numerous heavy hits that bring us back to reality. Why is it that the mask mandate lift isn’t as awesome as it sounds?

Many indoor places have their own sets of rules and guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 and mask-wearing. Since this is the case, every business has its own timeframe to dictate whether they want to lift their mask rule. As stated by the Detroit Free Press, “The change in the state’s face covering mandate, announced Friday, leaves local business owners in a quandary, with some fearful that the new policy could cause problems, while others are hopeful that it could help boost their bottom line.” In reality, the opinions for and against masks tend to be split, with many people and businesses still fearful of COVID-19 spreading. So, you might still have to wear a mask in many indoor buildings; this will probably be the case for a while. 

With every vaccination, comes a bit of uncertainty when it comes to virus defense. There is not a single vaccine on this planet that is 100% effective in protecting you from a virus. Because of this, many people are afraid to lift the mask mandate, even if a majority of people are fully vaccinated or are in the process of getting their second dose. I do understand the fear, but like any other vaccine, there will be people who still get sick. The COVID-19 vaccine’s other purpose is to make COVID-related symptoms less severe; I see this as a win in my book. With this debate, it’s hard to pick a side; but if we are so afraid to stop wearing a mask, will we be using them for the rest of our lives?

Since fully vaccinated people are able to walk freely without a mask, many unvaccinated people will try to do the same. Why is that? Well, it’s because they literally don’t care and they’ve pretty much never cared. Even during the height of the pandemic, certain people simply wouldn’t wear a mask in all establishments. They turned a blind eye to safety because they only cared about their own individual freedoms, and many still do. I get it, wearing a mask can be frustrating sometimes, but why do these people have to be such babies? But, since the mask mandate has been lifted for the vaccinated, they’re obviously going to jump aboard the no-mask train. This problem has already brought a dilemma for many vaccinated people, who are technically allowed to not wear a mask. Many vaccinated individuals are scared that other people will think they are anti-vaxxers if they are not wearing a mask. 

Under the same umbrella of the unvaccinated people, some have decided to protect themselves against the vaccinated people. Honestly, I wish this was a joke, but it’s not. There has been an already developed rumor that anti-vaxxers will be wearing masks to protect themselves against people who have been vaccinated. To me, this is the biggest joke of them all when it comes to mask-wearing; I simply don’t see how that makes any sense whatsoever. This concept totally contradicts what the anti-vaxxers have been trying to achieve this whole time. 

In a perfect world, the mask mandate being lifted for vaccinated people would’ve been a walk in the park; it’s something that should be celebrated. But, in reality, lifting the mandate brings numerous problems that were left on the back-burner. Though I wish the lifting of the mandate would go smoother (because, you know, I am indeed vaccinated), I also think it’s important to see why it’s not-so-nice. Everyone in this country has a different opinion on the virus, the vaccine, and the new normal that has been created; everyone has the right to create their own opinion. But should an individual’s opinion hinder the lives of others? That’s a debate that has been going on since the creation of this country; COVID-19 and its struggles are only just another debate. Honestly, I’m just happy I can walk outside without a mask, and truly feel somewhat normal again. I’m grateful for the changes in regulations that have allowed us to be with loved ones, celebrate major milestones such as graduation and take us back to a world before the craziness of 2020. I think we should all be grateful, even if the lifting of the mask mandate isn’t the best thing ever.