Mask wearing is about respect

More people are shedding their masks these days, and it’s obvious they’re happy about it. You can see it in the smiles that have been hidden for so long.

With the Centers for Disease Control’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated people no longer must wear masks to protect from COVID-19, many businesses have followed suit. Walmart no longer requires masks of fully vaccinated staff and customers. Nor does Tops. Wegmans originally stated its mask mandates would remain, but later changed course to follow the lead of other stores.

Yet, as those businesses have tossed aside those mandates, others may decide to keep them for now. And that’s their right as private entities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned that fact when he announced the state will follow the CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people.

“We ask that Pennsylvanians continue to be kind and respectful to each other as we continue to fight COVID-19,” Alison Beam, state health secretary, said during a recent news conference..

There may be stores and businesses you frequent that will require masks to stay on. They’re allowed to do so. It’s not for some political statement. It’s to keep their staff members and customers as protected from the virus as they feel necessary.

And there may be fully vaccinated staff and customers in businesses where mask mandates are gone who still feel more comfortable wearing them. That’s fine, too. They may not be as at ease going unprotected, and being overly careful hurts no one.

So be mindful as you go about your daily lives that some businesses and customers have a different view of wearing masks than others. Wearing them, even when the mandates are gone for good, is no problem. Those folks are doing what they feel necessary to protect themselves and others.

They’re happy to do so … even if the masks they’re wearing are shielding their smiles.


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