When there is enough vaccine for everyone, the air mask rules should end.
Gary Leff at 22. March 2021.
I have been an advocate of masks since the beginning of the pandemic, when health officials advised against them. They do not offer complete protection, but they do have some advantages. Quality masks, worn properly, are one of the measures that help limit the spread of viruses. I have argued that Conservatives should adopt masks as an alternative to small government.
Airlines have introduced mandatory masks to reassure customers who are in close proximity to other people. I guess asking someone to dress up wasn’t that hard when you knew everyone was dressed up.
Almost a year after the pandemic, new President Biden has directed his Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make a travel mask mandatory. This measure federated the rules for airlines and introduced a new exemption for people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. The airlines have made it a hassle to jump through hoops to use this authorization.
The masks were useful in aircraft because, with HEPA filtration and downward airflow, they reduced the risk of covid-19 being trapped in the aircraft.
The vaccines are now available. It will be difficult to get people to wear masks after vaccinations. The rule should remain in place because most Americans have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. It is difficult to know who is vaccinated and who is not.
And because of the lack of vaccines, there was concern that a vaccinated person could still transmit the virus to someone else. This concern was probably exaggerated. For example, Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine has been shown to be 94% effective against asymptomatic Covid-19, meaning that a person is asymptomatic, but can still have and transmit the virus.
What I know with our vaccine blocks protection against asymptomatic infections up to 94%, says Albert Bourla, CEO of @Pfizer. pic.twitter.com/ZRIj7La9Ar
– Squawk Boxing (@SquawkCNBC) March 11, 2021
All approved vaccines are nearly perfect against severe forms of covidia, hospitalization and death. That’s what’s important to us. The vaccines ensure that hospitals are not overburdened and that people who receive Covid-19 and need treatment can receive quality care.
I plan on wearing a mask (N95) when I travel during flu season. I thought about it, but it wasn’t really socially acceptable. That has changed, and that is a good thing. Stealth and distantiation have not been able to stop the Covid-19 winter epidemic, but it seems that the flu is no longer spreading so easily.
But it’s a voluntary decision. There is no justification for restrictions if everyone who wants the vaccine can get it. It will take months for children under 16 to be vaccinated, but their risk will be lower than that of the average adult who is vaccinated anyway.
All adults in the U.S. should be eligible for the vaccine in May. This does not mean that everyone has enough stock to make an appointment that day. But soon we will be asking and persuading people to get vaccinated. If everyone can get it and is essentially protected, and if most travelers have some form of immunity due to previous infection or vaccination, the mandate should be lifted.
It is possible that the new version of the virus will get rid of the vaccines and spread, becoming a problem for hospital capacity. If what is theoretical now becomes reality, the masking rule may need to be reinstated – until booster doses targeting these new mutations are widely available.
See more of wing