As of April 20th, the federal government will no longer require face coverings on any public transport. This includes the buildings of public transportation, which includes airport terminals and transportation hubs. With all of the mandates lifted, many of the vulnerable populations are left to fight the pandemic on their own with limited guidance and supplies. “An estimated 3% of Americans are immunocompromised and more vulnerable to complications of the virus, even if vaccinated”( Anne Flaherty, Cheyenne Haslett, and Alexander Mallin; ABC News ). Even with the vaccine, many of the population still haven’t taken it and have prevented full herd immunity from being achieved.
The judge responsible for striking down the mandate is Florida judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. Not only is the mandate no longer in effect, but her ruling could bar the CDC from reinstating any health measures in the future. Many of the mandates for important services, such as hospitals and clinics, will soon no longer require face coverings in their practices. Even before the pandemic, many people had worn masks to protect against pathogens and harmful substances. Now that masks are becoming a part of our nation’s politics, many people frown upon wearing them for fear of being ridiculed by society.
Now that masks are rarely used in most public settings, health experts predict a wave of Omicron to spread throughout the U.S. “N95 are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 protection, especially against more-transmissible variants like Omicron and BA.2. Their protection doesn’t stop there, though. “Masks don’t just impact COVID-19 but other respiratory viruses as well,” says Amesh Adalja, MD, FIDSA, infectious-disease physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security”( Maggie Ryan Popsugar.com ). “‘…people should consider how hard they are trying to avoid COVID, what their risk factors are for severe COVID, or whether they have to be COVID negative for an event,’ Dr. Adalja says”‘( Maggie Ryan Popsugar.com ). Masks have many benefits, but it’s still a choice that many people have to make for themselves.