I first felt the winds of change when I went to order my favorite Athleta Made to Move Masks. And found out these were so popular that they sold out and there is nothing on the website about them coming back. You can still buy one on Ebay for about $37. I have a feeling that retailers are quickly pivoting away from masks
We already had a shift in the recommendations for wearing masks outdoors. It seems like the science is saying that contracting COVID from a casual outdoor encounter (unless you are in a crowd) is not bloody likely.
Earlier this week, Dr. Fauci, in his usual foreshadowing, said it might be time to ‘relax indoor mask mandates’. I think many people interpreted his ‘might be time’ to ‘rip this puppy off my face now’!
Just as he foreshadowed, CDC changed their indoor mask recommendations yesterday:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to 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.
Our governor just adopted this same guidance, meaning there is no longer a statewide mask mandate in Washington state. However, local boards of health still have the authority to mandate masks for their jurisdiction. Businesses can as well (that is going to be a tough enforcement issue).
I am flying to Montana next week for a road trip with one of my best chums. She told me that her county just rescinded their mandatory mask rule. Mask wearing is strongly recommended, but there is no mandate. During the last legislative session in Montana, a law was passed that weakens the authority of local boards of health. So, if COVID starts to increase and hospitals fill up, a local board of health no longer has the authority to re-issue a mask mandate.
As the summer travel season gets underway, I will be surprised if I see many masks indoors or out, since a recommendation lacks the teeth of a mandate.
As I’ve said before, there is no way of knowing if the unmasked people you now come across are vaccinated or not. So if you aren’t vaccinated and want to stay safe, you can’t rely on masks anymore. This is yet another reason to get vaccinated ASAP if you have not already done so.
As my girlfriend says, it is the ‘wild west’ out there and not just in Montana!
I will be back on Monday.