LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the beginning of the pandemic, many people were anxious about having to wear a mask.They felt like they couldn’t breathe and worried that it changed the way they looked. Masks were also a visual reminder of the virus and the danger that it represents.
Now that people are being vaccinated and some states are getting rid of mask mandates, some people are anxious about being without masks.
For a year now, health officials have advised Americans and others around the world to wear a mask when in public and sometimes even at home.
It has become the new normal and routine for many. Most people don’t leave home now without a mask just like they wouldn’t leave home with their purse or wallet.
Some people even welcomed it because face coverings reduced or changed interactions that would result in social anxiety in the past. Some even enjoyed the fact that it relieved the of always wearing makeup or shaving before going out in public. Additionally, some workers in restaurants and retails said they no longer felt obliged to fake-smile at customers.
Experts say that moving away from dedicated mask wearing will take time and will depend on the person. Some people may be able to discard their masks immediately without much concern. For others it could take months to become comfortable not wearing a mask again.
According to the latest guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who have been fully vaccinated can gather with low-risk people indoors without masks.
For now, the CDC is still advising everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, to continue to wear a well-fitted mask in public and to maintain physical distancing. They also advise people to wear masks indoors around other people who may have an increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Additionally, the CDC says people would continue to avoid medium- and large-sized gatherings.
When it is time though to remove masks, experts say to listen to local health officials since risks vary by state and communities. Also, don’t feel pressured to not wear a mask just because there is no mandate. Everyone should do what they feel is best for them in regards to not wearing a mask once it is not required.