California counties are selfishly pursuing removal of the mask mandate


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Maida Suta, Reporter

Several counties across California, including Santa Clara County, have been implementing steps to remove the mask mandate, and it has become evidently clear that we have learned nothing from our previous attempts at removing this necessary mandate.

Back in June, California attempted to reel back on the mask mandate, stating that vaccinated people did not need one and that unvaccinated people did. Though at no point was proof of vaccination a requirement, meaning people could, and did, lie about their status. 

As a minimum wage worker in food service, this move irritated me to no end. As someone who has lost precious time and memories to this pandemic, I was enraged.

The numbers were stabilizing, much like they were now, but it was clear that by removing the mandate, we would be encouraging the exact type of behavior that would inflate those numbers again.

And inflate they did, and the masks had to come back.

If the last time lifting the mask mandates under similar conditions such as moderate transmission tier, low and stable hospitalization rates and a certain percentage of vaccination among the county, produced another surge in COVID-19 cases, it frankly does not make sense that this time it will be any different.

Granted, there is sympathy to be had with those who are sick and tired of wearing masks. Everyone longs for the days where we could hang out with our friends without double checking to make sure we have our mask on.

It’s been a long two years and experiencing such a massive upheaval to our lives hasn’t been easy.

However, just because things aren’t easy doesn’t mean we should give up on them when we’re evidently not safe just yet. For many counties and states, September was one of the deadliest months of the pandemic on record.

The statistics haven’t improved substantially enough, and our impatience shouldn’t outweigh the very depressing reality that tens of thousands of people are dying. Now is not the time to be selfish. 

California officials need to take a step back and realize that just because the data in certain counties reflect improved conditions doesn’t mean it will stay like that, let alone with the removal of important health guidelines such as masking.

I’ve been lucky enough to not lose a loved one due to COVID-19 yet. I don’t want the aftermath of a mask mandate removal to be the reason I have to.