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Why won’t Americans wear masks to protect themselves, older adults, and vulnerable people from covid?

Demonstrators Against Masks Capital IMG_7014It’s so frustrating. The covid-19 level is high now in the county where I live. Yet, most people aren’t wearing masks indoors.

When governors and health officials dropped mandatory mask requirements, they said when covid levels rise to “High” in a county, masks should be worn indoors again.

Deaths were up 14.5 percent, a report Friday of the 7-day change shows, according to The Washington Post.

After two months when daily death numbers rarely rose above 400, the average has recently grown to more than 420 people dying of covid in this country each day.

That’s mostly our older friends and relatives and a few vulnerable people.

Recently, the weekly report for my county said a female in her 20s had died of covid. She was only the second person in that age group to die during the pandemic.

It’s difficult to understand why Americans won’t wear masks to protect their own health, and also, why they won’t wear them to protect vulnerable adults they know and don’t know.

At the food co-op where I buy most of my groceries and at my credit union, only a few staff members, if any, are wearing masks.

The co-op finally put up a sign. In small letters at the top, it says covid levels are high. Larger letters in the middle say the county health officer is recommending masks be worn indoors. The last sentence says, “Masks optional.” It’s so ineffective and frustrating.

The last time I was at the co-op, none of the four people at the checkout stands were wearing masks. I had to ask customer service to find a person with a mask to check out my groceries.

The same thing at my credit union. None of the staff were wearing masks, and I had to request that someone put on a mask to process my deposit.

At a nearby garden store, the sign says “Masks strongly recommended.” A much better sign. Most of the staff wore masks.

In China, where covid-19 started, the Chinese Communist government locks down areas when covid cases begin to rise. Tests are mandatory. You get a QR code on your phone when you test negative. It allows you to enter stores and other public places.

Do the Chinese value their elders more than Americans? It looks like it. One report I read said that many elders weren’t vaccinated and the mandatory measures are a way to protect them.

In the United States, it seems to be a matter of politics. Residents of counties that went heavily for Donald Trump in the last presidential election are more than twice as likely to die from covid-19 than those that live in areas that went for President Biden, according to a recent analysis from NPR, which looked at how partisanship and misinformation are shaping the pandemic.

How sad.

When my daughter and her family came to visit from Spain, I went with them to California. Most of the people in the airports and planes weren't wearing masks.

However, now I think about it differently. The people not wearing masks may soon get sick or even die from covid.

I’m wearing a mask and protecting myself. Fortunately, I don’t believe in right-wing disinformation.

Please wear a mask and continue to protect yourself and your vulnerable loved ones. Make sure you’re vaccinated, too.

 

 

Comments

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Carol Cassara

This frustrates me, as well. It turns out that many people will not wear masks unless mandated. They don't really care about protecting others at all. It pisses me off for sure. I have seen the worst in people during this pandemic. And the best in health care workers. But most other people couldn't care less about others. Sad.

Rita

Good to know this is frustrating someone besides me. I haven't gone out much, so it was incredible to take a trip to California on an airplane and see only about a quarter of the passengers wearing masks. My daughter said Iberia is requiring mask wearing again. That's good news.

Jennifer

I wear a mask when a place is crowded or don't go in at all. I got to self-checkout lines but in all the stores here in Florida, they still have the plexiglass up between the cashier and the customer. It's illegal to require a mask in any business in the state of Florida but I live in a county in which Covid is on the rise so I see more and more masks. What surprises me is the number of people who don't wear masks walking into a doctor's office. There are sick people in there! I will never forget that in the early 2000s, my sister worked at an eye doctor's office and someone came in who was sick. She and another woman got sick. The other woman was home for 2 weeks, my sister, who previously had lung cancer, ended up in the hospital for 4 weeks and had to use oxygen for the rest of her life. People will call out sick from work but still go to the eye doctor and to hair appointments.

Laurie Stone

The only place I see masks now are doctor offices, that's it. Covid is still very much out there, but thank God, not as deadly. Maybe that's what's influencing people.

Rita

Yes, unfortunately, it's still deadly. I don't want to be one of the more than 400 people who are dying every day from it.

Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

Los Angeles was always good about enforcing masks but now very few people are wearing them indoors even though they almost mandated them again. Same at the airport and on planes. I still wear mine inside. So far, so good.

Rita

Good for you. I continue to wear my mask inside, and I'll do it for a long time. It's also protecting me from colds and the flu.

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