We have to roll back pandemic restrictions someday. Why is it so hard now?
Vaccines are the solution to Covid-19. Let’s make the most of them.
Los Angeles has essentially been under a mask mandate since April of 2020 and has some of the highest covid case rates in the world, death rates in the world as well.
Mask enforcement won’t work without education.
On an individual level, that means it might be a good time to break out your best quality mask — an N95 or KN95 — especially if you're traveling or going out in crowds in public. Also, if you've been letting your mask slide down under your nose, it's a good idea to up your game and make sure your mask fits well.
The journal has told the Retraction Watch website that its model now assumes 68% U.S. mask usage—still likely too low—along with a substantially smaller projection of lives saved than the one it published. At this point, the refusal to correct the original article serves only to sustain an inflated case for a national mask mandate.
“A global statement for all of society is going to be overinterpreted by the wrong groups and then there will be more cases because people are not going to be protecting themselves as well,” said Petru. “So I don’t think it’s time to throw masks away in any kind of social scene where you’re indoors with others.”
Masking protects not only the individual wearing the mask but the community as well. An enforceable mandate along with a public education campaign may go a long way to buffering the impact of COVID-19 until a vaccine or therapeutic can be developed.
While mask-wearing can help to reduce transmission of COVID-19, data show that mask mandates in the U.S. and other countries did not prevent a surge of cases.
Entrepreneur Emiliana Guereca recalled that, “2020 was an awful year for both employees and employers, and if we want to get back to business, businesses need to take the lead on mask and vaccination mandates.
As millions of children head back to classrooms, parents are trying to track mask mandates and other COVID-19 school safety protocols. Most U.S. parents support mask mandates in schools, but are against vaccine requirements for eligible students, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds.
When an indoor mask mandate was in place, employers were forced to protect their employees and customers. That protection has now gone. The CDC’s baffling, whiplash-inducing decision has caused immense frustration among those on the frontline working on U.S. pandemic control.
The extent of the benefits of wearing masks for preventing COVID remains uncertain, but it’s wrong to say we don’t know anything at all. “One thing you can extrapolate well is that masks have some effect,” Haber told me. “But the level of effectiveness depends on an enormous array of very important factors, and high-quality direct evidence is difficult to come by, particularly for schools.”
Unfortunately, a global pandemic in which a serious and deadly communicable disease can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers upsets that background and justifies a wide range of reasonable restrictions on our liberties. Believing otherwise makes the Constitution a suicide pact – and not just metaphorically.
Although a federal mask mandate may appear to be an attractive policy, it could encounter legal challenges, be difficult to enforce, and further politicalize wearing of masks.
Although it’s unlikely that the United States and other Western nations will adopt the same level of mask use beyond this pandemic, van der Westhuizen anticipates it will become much more common and acceptable than before. “It’s truly remarkable how widespread this new habit has become,” she says. “We have gained a valuable preventative tool.”
Rather than thinking about a mask mandate as something that takes away a freedom, as anti-mask protestors have claimed, Leana Wen, a physician and the former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, says, “Mask-wearing allows you to do things.” If everyone wears a mask, it will keep transmission low, allowing businesses and schools to stay open.
“If you want a more normal life, we need to adjust our behavior, as opposed to locking ourselves away,” Ginther says. “Masks rise to the top as an approach we can take as a society to have a more open economy but not get everyone sick.”
Policymakers and public health officials should encourage the use of masks, but should absolutely avoid mandating them.
The CDC says some schools can drop mask mandates — but not all of them. The guidelines put the CDC at the center of yet another Covid-19 controversy.