COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted But At What Costs?

As counties across California have lowered their COVID-19 restrictions, health officials are still urging citizens to wear a mask, even two.

Ever since the physical outbreak and the following mental paranoia, the credibility of two masks has always been in question. The California Department of Public Health revised their mask procedures by stating that face coverings should be free of gaps, which would allow contagious respiratory droplets to escape. As the novel coronavirus is known to be transmissible through airborne bodily fluids, wearing a mask is standard protocol.

In comparison to other states who have lifted mask mandates, California is continuing to follow federal health authorities and their advice. Part of this is a result from the the tragic aftermaths of summer 2020 when the country failed to contain the virus and people’s ignorance. The countless parties and in-person contact put millions to bed, easily placing the United States first in the corona case race indisputably. With a lesson learned at heavy costs, California health officials are hoping it is not too late to avoid another wave.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, said in a press conference that “We are encouraging people basically to double down on mask wearing, particularly in light of all of what I would argue is bad information coming from at least four states in this country.” Referring to states, such as Texas, that have lifted the mask mandate, Governor Newsom assured that “We will not be walking down their path. We’re mindful of your health and our future.”

In response to “The Associated Press”‘s tweet about Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifting the mask mandate for his state, Governor Gavin Newsom, along with millions of other US netizens, expressed criticism, replying “Absolutely reckless.” In another interview, he referred to Governor Abbott’s decision as “making a terrible mistake” as Texas’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 5 times greater than California’s rate of 2.1%.

Governor Newsom said “I’ll just note, without belaboring the point, that positivity rates in those states (are) substantially higher than even here in the state of California, and yet we still feel very, very strongly as we begin to loosen things up and reopen our economy that mask-wearing (becomes) now more essential as we transition to herd immunity and broad access to vaccines.”

“This is not the time to spike the ball,” Newsom said. “There’s no mission accomplished sign behind us. … We really have to work through this next six to eight weeks, nine weeks, the next 100 days until we get to that abundance frame with the vaccines.”

Health officials tested that improvement was shown when people tied the ends of their surgical masks to prevent gaps.

After a year of COVID-19’s ravage, people are desperate to get back to their normal lives. While the pandemic is most definitely still present, the vaccines are a step closer to some semblance of normalcy. Still, officials are assuring that people not take this forward step for granted, but to be even more cautious as we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Categories: Clinical