The post could also be titled ‘Maskless in Montana”.
My road trip chum and I are both fully vaccinated, so we felt safe venturing out. As we journeyed through Montana, masks were a rare sight. I never saw anyone wearing one outdoors. Indoors I saw maybe 1 in 10 masked, regardless of the signage requiring them.
In one store, there were handwritten posters even asking patrons to not hassle shoppers wearing masks!
The C.D.C. guidance is pretty clear. Unvaccinated people need to mask up indoors. The last data I saw was that 40% of Montanans are fully vaccinated. Of course, that percentage varies widely by county (as it does in Washington). But I think it is fair to say that we didn’t visit any county with a 90% vaccination rate!
That being said, my Montana family and friends are vaccinated. Our Montana son-in-law just got his second dose of vaccine on Monday and our 14 year old grandson can’t wait to be vaccinated. I’m cheering them all on!
T.S.A. still requires travelers to wear masks in the airport and on planes. At the gate in Missoula, maybe 1 out of 3 were wearing masks. The one person I saw wearing a mask didn’t cover his nose. The solo employee at the gate didn’t have time to police mask wearing, so people just need to do the right thing without being told.
Fortunately, by the time we got on the plane, everyone was masked up.
I still have a tough time understanding the ‘anti-mask’ sentiments. It seems like a minor inconvenience to keep the wearer and others safe until more people are vaccinated.
As a cancer survivor, I feel for people who are immunocompromised and either can’t be vaccinated or may not develop a good immune response if they are. With masks being tossed aside indoors, they don’t have many options to stay safe other than to steer clear of people.
Hopefully more and more people will soon be vaccinated and it will be safer for everyone to gather without masks indoors. I can’t imagine what might happen if masks are needed again. I just don’t see many people being willing to put a simple piece of cloth over their mouth and face to protect themselves and others anytime soon.
There is no doubt we put our COVID 19 vaccine immunity to the test on our road trip. So far, so good!
Have a safe Memorial Day and I will see you then.