In the last couple of years, we have all seen one thing common in every individual who stepped out of their house – Mask. Thanks to these masks that helped us move around feeling safe even in this pandemic situation. But is it still the need of the hour?
Does The United States Need Masks?
Now that there has been a reduction in Covid cases, many countries like the US, UK, and Australia have eased out on wearing masks. According to the new guidelines of CDC, The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the citizens are relaxed from wearing masks indoors, which also include schools unless there’s a high level of Covid-19. Albeit passengers on trains, buses, airplanes still need to wear them.
The director of CDC, Rochelle Walensky said that they have stronger tools and treatments to protect themselves like vaccines, boosters, improved ventilation, etc. The infectious disease expert at the John Hopkins Center for health security, Dr. Amesh Adalja, said that although transmission rates are high the severity of the Omicron virus is minimal compared to the other variants. People who are already vaccinated are more resistant. So, the hospitalization rate is low.
The new guidelines focus on monitoring hospital capacity and infection rates, rather than Covid transmission, since that has always been the concern. Earlier when the officials in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California, and Oregon announced to lift masks, Walensky said that it was not the right time.
But now, even the governors of New York and Massachusetts have announced to go easy on face-covering rules since people are also tired of wearing masks.
People can now have the benefit of entering restaurants, theatres, and gyms without having to worry about showing their proof of vaccination. After two years, people can expect normalcy and get on with their lives.
Massachusetts has the second-highest child vaccination rate in the country said a republican named Baker. The availability of tools has also increased, compared to what it was in the beginning, to deal with the pandemic.
Jonathan Palumbo, a district spokesperson said that the state rolled out its decision without informing them in advance. And the Boston Public Schools said that they are still dicey about their responsibilities towards the new rule.
The spokesperson of the White House, Jen Psaki, said that the White House is still evaluating if the rules are agreeable or not. The White House relies on data and science and advice the local leaders including the governors to do the same.
People have already accepted that Corona Virus is just like any other respiratory disease and have started treating it as part of their everyday lives. Amidst all this, Sweden, a country in Europe, has even declared the pandemic to be over, while the scientists were doing their best to fight the situation with patience.
Lena Hallengren, minister of health said that the restrictions might have eased a bit and Covid is not regarded as a danger anymore but the pandemic is not over yet. The health commissioner of the EU, Stella Kyriakides, said that although the mortality rates are stable we still need to be cautious.
Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister is also in favor of lifting Covid restrictions in England to bring back the ailing economy as well as the mental health of the people. This decision was criticized by the leaders of Scotland and Wales, who have set their Covid restrictions.
The leader of the Labour Party, Starmer, also said that the government shouldn’t take decisions in haste and should also have a responsible way of approaching this deadly virus. Previously England even celebrated a “Freedom Day” on July 19 when some of the restrictions were lifted, before the new rules of the Omicron virus.
Mask not only protects us from the virus but even before the pandemic, many people relied on them to protect themselves from dust and pollution. So can we afford not to use masks anymore? Do we choose safety or freedom? Are we advancing towards the end of this horrible pandemic? The answer to these questions is the need of the hour.
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