Should the Mask Mandate Be Lifted?

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Angelina Dujmic, Staff Writer

States are beginning to lift the mask mandate, including Arizona. Some places still require that you wear one, but now people can go to most places without one. Although, just because you are not required to wear a mask does not make it right.

 

Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, said “I’m confident Arizona’s businesses and citizens will continue to practice the fundamentals and act responsibly as we gradually get back to normal.” 

 

The decision was followed by mixed feedback from the population. Personally, I believe ending the mask mandate was a premature decision.

 

This decision does not account for COVID-19 variants and the lack of people who have been vaccinated. Pushing aside our current precautions may cause another surge in cases when you take these factors into consideration. Even if you are vaccinated, that does not guarantee immunity from COVID as well. 

 

In a statement through the Health System Alliance of Arizona, hospital executives said “a downward trend is not synonymous with the elimination of the virus.” The issue with lifting the mask mandate is that people may treat it like the virus is over. If people don’t feel the need to wear a mask, then they most likely won’t social distance or follow the other precautions. This is extremely risky and may turn the downward trend into a spike of cases.

 

The timing couldn’t be worse as well. There is an ongoing race of trying to vaccinate the people before deadly variants spread all over the country. Ridding the state of this requirement could cause a potential variant to spread, rendering the vaccine ineffective against it. Only about a quarter of Arizona has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while about 16% are fully inoculated. Removing the mandate at this time just doesn’t make sense.

 

Ducey lifted the mandate in hopes that Arizonans would continue to follow basic guidelines, but it just seems pointless. Why remove the mandate but tell the people to continue wearing their masks? Keeping the citizens safe should be the number one priority and continuing to enforce masks would be in their best interest. Health professionals say that masks should still be imposed, but Ducey is going against that.

 

The mask mandate served as a reminder that COVID is still ongoing and that it isn’t safe yet, and this is true to our current situation. Masks should continue to be enforced, and even if they are now not required, we should still wear our masks. Until we know it is safe, masks are extremely important.