Masks should be required in public, even if vaccinated

Masks help create sense of unity

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Gillian Kapinos

For every 100 people in the United States, 32 of them  have received at least one dose. The pandemic is finally starting to come to a close. Many places like Texas, Mississippi and Florida are rushing to get back to normal by lifting the mask mandate and reopening all businesses. Masks still need to be required, even for those who are fully vaccinated, otherwise it may be harder to recover from the pandemic.

On March 8, the Center for Disease Control put out a recommendation that sparked debate. The recommendation said fully vaccinated people can gather indoors in small groups without masks or other preventative methods like ventilation or physical distancing. Like many of its recommendations the words have gotten twisted — people claiming on social media that vaccinated people can do whatever they want now.

Of course it’s time to start moving towards normalcy again, it’s been a year since COVID-19 has made its mark on the US, but we didn’t quite know how to handle it in the beginning. Masks weren’t fully introduced until mid-April 2020. Masks are one of the best ways to prevent not only COVID-19, but other viruses. In 2020, the flu numbers dramatically went down according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and this is due to all the preventative methods placed against COVID-19.

Now that everyone is getting vaccinated, questions arise over the need for preventative methods. Fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask, but they should. Anti-maskers are still out there, and most of them are anti-vaccination too. If an anti-masker sees one person without a mask being let into a store, they’ll be mad when they aren’t let into that same store without a mask. This will cause chaos, which is not needed.

I definitely remember being nervous to wear my mask out for the first time, I was scared of being the only one, or that I’d be judged. So having the sense that everyone is doing it, makes it a lot easier to put one on. It won’t last forever. If vaccinated people wear their masks and others are educated on the importance of the vaccine, and given it, then we’ll be able to return to our normal lives a lot sooner.