For over a year, the threat presented by the novel coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Although the situation once seemed hopelessly bleak, the recent vaccine rollout has signaled that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. While the increased availability of vaccines is certainly cause for hope, it’s important to understand that the pandemic is still ongoing. Until a sizable majority of us are fully vaccinated, it behooves everyone to continue being cautious and considerate. Among other things, this means continuing to mask up in stores, businesses and other public settings. As you’ll find, even if you’ve received the vaccine, there are numerous reasons to hang onto your masks.
It’s important to realize that being vaccinated doesn’t equal instant immunity. This is particularly true for anyone getting the two-shot variety of vaccines. For starters, since the shots are spread out between periods of three to four weeks, getting your first dose of vaccine doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. Furthermore, even after getting the second shot, you’ll need to wait two weeks before you’re able to enjoy its full effects. During the time it takes to build immunity, it’s still possible for you to fall ill, so although the COVID vaccines have been found to be highly effective, they are by no means a magic wand.
While waiting for your body to build immunity, it’s recommended that you continue taking every conceivable precaution and limiting the amount of time you spend away from home. As such, if you’re in need of medical advice during this time, consider taking advantage of a convenient service like Everyday Doctor.
Peace of Mind
Even after your immunity has been bolstered, continuing to mask up can provide both you and the people around you with peace of mind. For instance, people you encounter in public have no way of confirming that you’re fully vaccinated and immune, and frankly, it shouldn’t be incumbent upon them to do so. If spotted with a mask, you’re likely to be mistaken for an anti-masker or someone who simply doesn’t care about upholding public health. You may even find yourself on the receiving end of some harsh words for people who are just looking to feel safe. So, in the interest of conflict avoidance, keep your masks on hand whenever you leave the house.
Adherence to State Mandates
There’s a good chance that your state has a mask mandate in effect. This means that whenever you set foot into any kind of public setting, you’ll be required to don a mask. Whether it’s a private business or government building, you’re liable to be in trouble if you attempt to enter unmasked. Actively ignoring mask mandates stands to get you arrested or presented with a hefty fine. So, even if you’re not crazy about the idea of continuing to mask up, you can save yourself a tremendous amount of hassle by simply complying with any mask mandates that are in effect.
Deference to Private Businesses
Even if your state doesn’t have a mask mandate in effect, there’s a good chance that most private businesses in your area do. Since these establishments are privately owned, they are fully within their rights to require patrons to wear masks. Attempting to bypass these rules is likely to earn you bans from your favorite stores and restaurants and possibly even facilitate a call to the police. Fortunately, many businesses have easy-to-spot signage that informs incoming customers of any mask rules by which they are expected to abide.
Protection from Other Illnesses
In addition to serving as effective tools against COVID infection, masks have proven useful at curbing the spread of other airborne illnesses, too. For example, the number of flu hospitalizations worldwide has plummeted since mask-wearing became commonplace. So, if an added layer of protection against colds, flus and other illnesses strikes you as an appealing prospect, you may want to consider mask-wearing into a normal post-pandemic practice.
The novel coronavirus has ravaged the country – and the world – for over a year. With over half a million American lives lost, this pandemic has caused more deaths than most wars. In light of what a profound impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives, it’s easy to see why the recent vaccine rollout has caused such elation. However, even if you’ve been vaccinated, you’d do well to remain vigilant for the foreseeable future.