Life Without Masks? Public Health Experts Fantasize for Forever Mandates
As draconian and unconstitutional COVID-19 restrictions continue to tire Americans throughout the nation, many have been wondering when life will at last return to some semblance of normal. Currently, over half of all American adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. When you couple that with a minimum of over 30 million Americans having recovered from COVID-19, the figures appear promising. This leads many to ask a very obvious question – when will we finally move on as a nation? It is clear that many have grown very fatigued and are ready to go about their regular lives, but many public health experts caution against a return to pre-COVID normalcy.
“We have seen benefits of masking that occur,” Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott told The Providence Journal in a recent telephone interview. “So there may be a new form of normalcy where masks don’t necessarily have to go away.”
Dr. Leonard A. Mermel, medical director of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital, argued that if masks were kept permanently it could be a good thing, saying “Within the Lifespan system we are seeing far fewer of all the respiratory viruses than we are used to seeing at this moment in the calendar year… So it’s impressive: the COVID preventative strategies are having an impact on other respiratory viruses, which just makes sense: they spread in a similar fashion.”
“It would not surprise me if that became a recommendation from the CDC,” he said. “It’s a pretty low price to pay to try to reduce the risk to oneself and to particularly loved ones who may be at particular risk of these sorts of infections causing harm.”
The new normal.
The idea of permanent mask mandate, among other COVID-19 restrictions in the United States, is not without precedent. Health experts in the state of Oregon are considering implementing such measures, and officials in the state of Virginia who have already passed such rules.
Alexander-Scott ensured to stress that these requirements are unlikely to be mandated forever – but offered no guarantees. Considering how ’15 days to flatten the curve’ played out, lifting such mandates completely seems less and less likely.