Will you keep wearing your mask?
It’s been a wild month for Virginians when it comes to face coverings.
In mid-May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for face mask usage. Now, fully vaccinated individuals can go mask-free in most places regardless of indoor/outdoor settings or social distancing.
Only days later, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam lifted the state’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with the CDC’s guidance, adding the state is expected to ease all distancing and capacity restrictions Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned.
Masks are still required in some places such as K-12 public schools, on public transit or in health care facilities, and businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments.
Although it’s momentous news in the fight to win back normalcy against the COVID-19 pandemic, some locals are more ready to rip the mask off than others.
Betty Eike, a longtime Farmville resident, said she doesn’t feel comfortable going maskless due to certain health issues.
“I have been vaccinated but, of course, I can’t tell whether other people have been vaccinated or not, so I prefer to be cautious,” Eike said.
“I’m very happy that we have reached a point where the mask rules are being relaxed,” Victoria resident Allyn Humphreys said. “However, I’m holding onto mine and will wear them in stores for the foreseeable future, especially during the fall/winter cold and flu season.”
“Since I have a high risk individual at home, I will continue to mask, socially distance and take any other precautions I can,” Farmville resident Eric Fischer said. “And I don’t trust people who say they’ve been vaccinated to actually be vaccinated,” he added.
Some citizens had a more celebratory response to the news.
“Goodbye, mask!” Victoria resident Amy Reese said.
“The whole point of vaccination is so that we don’t need a mask,” Rice resident Beth Hinde stated. “I’m done with the mask. I’m excited to see smiling faces again! Please get vaccinated!”
Other members of the public said they’ve been foregoing the mask for some time now, such as Hunter Harris of Charlotte Courthouse.
“Never wore one anyway except for in the businesses that thought you were breaking a cardinal sin,” Harris commented.
“Never worn one,” added Lunenburg resident Shawn Cothran. “Won’t get vaccinated and will never wear a mask.”