Thoughts On the Imminent Unmasking
As many of you know, the CDC recently changed masking guidelines for vaccinated folks, and in Ohio, at least, guidelines are also changing — both immediately for vaccinated people and then for everyone in a couple of weeks. I’ve had some people ask me what I think about it and what I plan to do with regards to my personal masking habits, inasmuch as I and everyone else in my immediate family (including my mother-in-law) are fully vaccinated now. Well, here’s my plan:
Outdoors, I’m not going to wear a mask, unless I’m specifically asked to by the event/people I’m at/with. In which case I’ll wear a mask.
Indoors, I’m going to do what people/businesses ask me to do. If I go to a business and a sign on the door says “masks required/requested,” I’ll put on a mask. If I visit a friend and they prefer I wear a mask, then I’ll wear a mask — and I’ll make an effort to ask which they prefer ahead of time. I keep a mask in my car at all times anyway, so it’s not going to be onerous for me to honor those requests, and even if it were, I would still honor them.
I do understand that people have concerns that the unvaccinated will be wandering around without masks and now we won’t be able to spot them. My thinking here is that where I live the unvaccinated were wandering around without masks anyway, so this won’t be anything new. At this point, the people who are unvaccinated and have been wandering about maskless do what they do as a political position, and in doing so have willfully endangered the lives of others who can’t get the vaccine for genuine medical reasons. That’s not going to change, whether I wear a mask or not. I can’t do anything about them being genuinely shitty people on this matter. My wearing a mask or not won’t change their genuinely shitty behavior.
(Also, at this point if you are choosing to be unvaccinated because of a political position or because “you don’t trust the science” or whatever dimwit rationale you have, you’re being an asshole, and if you get sick, I’m not going to waste any sympathy on you. My sympathy at this point is for the people the willfully unvaccinated are going out of their way to endanger, namely, the people who genuinely can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons, whose lives will still be curtailed because some of us have decided being a shitty person about COVID is a legitimate social and political stance. Hey! Stop being an asshole about this. Get vaccinated.)
If you are vaccinated but still not comfortable being in public without a mask: You do you! I don’t see any problem with that, and certainly wearing a mask does no harm to anyone else, and may do some good. I support your decision. Also, moving forward, as a general rule, I think it would be useful and wise for people to wear masks when they are ill yet need to be in public. It would be lovely for people not to knowingly breathe viruses on other people! So, yes, I’ll be keeping my masks going forward and adding them to my clothing repertoire.
(Oh, and you know when else they’re useful? When it’s cold as hell outside. My face didn’t freeze nearly as much this last winter as it usually does. I’ll keep masks around for that, too.)
I’m happy the mask mandates are ending; I wish they were ending because we all had gotten vaccines instead of the bare minimum of people to allow us to say, “eh, close enough.” But here we are. And I, at least, am fully vaccinated, as is my whole family.