The word for today is ‘WHIPLASH’. Why? Because of the recent about face (pardon the pun) on mask wearing.
Governmental public health is not known to spin on a dime, but the unexpected ‘no masks if vaccinated’ message qualifies.
It has been interesting to watch business quickly pivot. Starbucks was keeping the mask requirement, then they weren’t. No masks at Walmart; mask up at Target (at least as of Saturday).
We went to our locally owned grocery store on Saturday. The must wear masks sign was down, but all the customers had masks on. I noticed one store employee did not.
Not only are businesses spinning, but so are some epidemiologists.
According to the NYT, many epidemiologists expected mask wearing to be recommended for at least another year. This is despite confidence in the vaccine. It is more about the number of people who haven’t been vaccinated yet.
The decision to stop wearing masks indoors “depends on more people rolling up their sleeves to get the shot.”Sally Picciotto, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley
According to the King County COVID 19 dashboard, in a recent 24 hour period, King County reported 230 new positive COVID 19 tests, 24 hospitalizations and 5 deaths. These numbers are way down, but they aren’t 0!
COVID 19 persists in King County even though 71% have had one dose of COVID 19 vaccine and over 50% residents are fully vaccinated.
Despite being fully vaccinated, I will be hanging onto my masks. If there is a crowd, indoors or out, I will pop it on. We know the percentage of people vaccinated varies widely by community and no vaccine is 100% effective.
I have a pretty impressive mask wardrobe at this point so I may as well put it to good use when the situation warrants and until more people step up to the plate for a shot!
I’m delighted to report that our Portland daughter is now fully vaccinated!
Tomorrow I am taking my first flight in 15 months. It is a short hop to Missoula, MT. Masks are still required on planes, but I would be wearing one regardless.
Back with a Montana update on Wednesday.