This past week was a whirlwind for me in many ways with a lot of work being done outside and inside our house. But the major news of the country was the CDC announcement about mask wearing. Boy – did things take a turn with that sudden announcement. At least it seemed sudden to me. Per their website:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic.
- 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.
- If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.
This was quickly followed by an announcement from the governor of North Carolina on May 14th:
Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. shared an update on the state’s COVID-19 progress. Throughout the pandemic, state officials have taken a data-driven approach and have been guided by the science in making decisions. Following yesterday’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without wearing a mask or the need to social distance from others, the state will remove its indoor mask mandate for most settings. Additionally, the state will lift all mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements. These changes are now in effect as of 1:30 PM today.
The problem I am seeing with this sudden shift is multi faceted. First of all – springing this on the service industry who has struggled to staff positions during the pandemic and expecting them to be able to react in a day to be fully operational at 100% is just not possible. Hopefully most of the establishments will ease back into full opening. I know several in our area that will still require the mask protocol and I applaud that. People just have to do what feels best for them and their situation. That has been my mantra all along. I am sure it is not the most popular line of thinking but that’s okay. While I would never think of not masking up during the past 14 months I also was one who limited my activities. If I wasn’t comfortable doing it – I didn’t. For those who don’t want to wear a mask now – just don’t go to those places that require it. And don’t be nasty about it. There is far too much of that going around.
There is still a good percentage of folks who are not (and many who never will be) vaccinated. That includes the younger population for whom there are no options of vaccination yet. There is always going to be a risk so once again – I feel each individual must do what feels appropriate for them. No haters on either side, please.
I do trust the science behind all of this. If we didn’t have science where would we be? I also have two family members who are in the health industry and I value their opinions as well as many friends in the industry. I have to trust my instincts as well and continue to do what feels “right” for me. Chris and I are grateful to be fully vaccinated but, of course, no vaccination is 100% effective so we will still practice caution.
I am looking forward to more normal interactions and activities. It will be wonderful to hug people and be together again. We attended in person church this past Sunday for the first time since February 2020. We were masked and attendance was way below 50% capacity so it was very safe. This week I am taking a short BFF trip with Ann and can’t wait. Now to just make sure the gas holds out….another thing to stress about but I have a fairly full tank so am feeling fairly good about the whole trip.
So what about you? How are you feeling about the changes in the mask mandates? Cautious? Excited? Thrilled? Anxious? Maybe like me a combination of all of the above? Leave me a comment and Comment for a Cause for Hospice of the Valley.