No Longer Needed Government Mask Mandate Extended Through September 13

The Biden administration has extended the federal transportation mask mandate through September 13. This covers air travel as well as trains, rideshares, and buses. It was set to expire May 11.

There was never any question this was going to happen,

  • Airlines and unions were lobbying for it, rather than against it

  • The end of the mask mandate will be a symbolic way for the President to declare victory against the pandemic, which we’re not yet in a place for.

Mask rules made a lot of sense when airlines instituted them. I argued for masks when airlines were still prohibiting employees from wearing them. And I’ve argued that people should have been wearing better quality masks throughout the pandemic, and learning to wear them properly (there are simple YouTube videos!).

When airlines began requiring masks that gave customers confidence to fly. They may have found the requirement annoying to comply with, but overall knowing that everyone else would be wearing a mask made customers more comfortable.

Now that every adult in the U.S. who wants a vaccine can get one there’s no longer a reason to require them.

  • The mRNA vaccines are incredibly effective at protecting people from infection, sickness, and negative outcomes. Most who have been vaccinated have little to fear.

  • Those who haven’t been vaccinated are making that choice and shouldn’t be imposing a cost on others. Even without a mandate, passengers can still wear masks.

What is it Milton Friedman used to say, that nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program?

There are a very limited number of people for whom vaccines may not be indicated or may be less effective. The argument being made for the mandate, though, isn’t to protect those people so they can fly worry-free.

Children can’t yet get vaccinated but children are at statistically lower risk than vaccinated older Americans anyway. For young kids Covid-19 is less of a risk than many of the things we accepted already as background, pre-pandemic. And most evidence suggests they’re less likely to spread the virus as well. (Mask requirements for two year olds was always silly, Delta’s policy to exempt young children made far more sense before it was outlawed.)

The world continues to battle Covid-19, and as long as there are so many people with the virus there are hosts within which it can mutate. That presents a risk, even an outside risk of vaccine escape. If such variants develop and become dominant mask mandates can be re-imposed until booster vaccines for them are ready.

The mask mandate though should sunset, based on science of the virus that is actually circulating, availability of vaccines in the United States, and date on their effectiveness – rather than being extended based on hypotheticals.

We’ll see an end to the mandate eventually. It’s unclear whether that will happen in September, though it will happen for certain when the President declares victory over Covid-19 because the CDC rules that TSA mandates are based on are set up that way – and because it will be a symbolic win for the President to do so. We’ll certainly see the mandate lifted before the 2022 midterm elections.

Nonetheless during flu season I’ll almost certainly wear a mask myself, now that it’s socially acceptable to do so, because I really hate the inconvenience of getting sick.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. If it were for Gary, the U.S. would look like India right now.

    Thank goodness his whining ilk is not in charge of protecting America or it’d still be in the pandemic in 2023.

  2. Masks on all modes of public transportation will be required until enough people are protected through vaccination or infection. Those who get vaccinated will speed the end of the mandate.

    Whining will continue to remain optional.

  3. I think you are excellent at writing about traveling… but please leave public health in the hands of experts. Non vaccinated passengers present a much bigger risk to others when they are not wearing masks… and based in the correlation between no-maskers and anti vaccine people, I don’t think it is crazy to assume that the passengers that would be without a mask would be also non-vaccinated and potentially carrying the virus.

    So, your “solution” would imply that any child (that can not yet be vaccinated) would be put in much more risk than now. Awesome. Yeah, lower risk for them.. but why putting them in risk at all if we can reduce it even more?

    I agree that once every person and child can be vaccinated it will be OK to remove the mask mandate… it’s called natural selection: idiots will die first.

  4. Many schools will be requiring the vaccines in the fall. So then what – people like ‘George’ above will homeschool their kids? That’s what America needs- to get progressively dumber and dumber….

  5. Hi Gary,

    Long time reader and I love your blog, but I disagree with your stance on the mask mandate. Even for the vaccinated, there is still some risk of catching COVID and having a mask mandate in place both makes travel safer for everyone and makes travelers confident enough to fly. My parents are both vaccinated for instance, but they are high risk and are still nervous about flying. They are picking flights based on how full they think it will be and are wearing N95s. Knowing that everyone else on the plane needs to wear a mask makes it more likely that they will fly and that’s something that airlines are about.

    A significant portion of the U.S. population remains unvaccinated and yes, many are making a choice to remain so. Just because they made a choice, however, does not mean that there is not a significant public health interest in making flying safer for them. Even if one decides they they made their choice and need to live with the consequences, remember that the virus won’t stop with them. If they get infected they will become carriers and go on to infect others. Some of these people will take up valuable ICU beds and strain our still overtaxed public health infrastructure. If wearing masks were a huge inconvenience, then I could see a case being made that its unfair to inconvenience vaccinated travelers for the sake of the willfully unvaccinated. But its not. Wearing a mask is just about the lowest effort public health intervention there is. Its roughly the same level of effort and inconvenience as wearing your seatbelt. Keeping the mandate in place is an incredibly minor inconvenience for some and potentially life-saving for others.

    The government mandate also makes things easier for the airlines. Mask wearing is a political minefield and for some reason, instead of it being a question of science and public health, its become a major front in the U.S. culture wars. Airlines don’t want to have to take sides in that type of debate. Its way easier for them, and better for business, if the government can just set a rule that they can all follow. If the mask mandate expires, then each airline needs to set its own policy. If they go with a restrictive policy, mask-opponents will be furious. If they don’t enact their own restrictions, many travelers, and many of their own employees, will be furious. Front line employees would rather enforce a federal mandate than a private policy. It gives them a stronger hand in dealing with combative customers.

    To me, keeping the mandate in place makes sense both from a public health perspective and from an industry perspective.

  6. Great piece, Gary. No need for masks once a sufficient amount of us are vaccinated!

  7. Gary’s logic is mostly intact with one major error. He writes

    Those who haven’t been vaccinated are making that choice and shouldn’t be imposing a cost on others

    1. Many want the vaccine but cannot yet get an appointment. Much better now but some people who want it still haven’t gotten it, maybe because they need a relative to take time off to help

    2. Kids want it but clinical studies are not yet completed. Don’t kill kids.

    3. Masks are already flimsy but offer some help.

  8. If you fly and aren’t vaccinated, you either haven’t tried or are going to be. Time to end the mask ban.

  9. @AC – How is wearing a mask inconvenient? If I said shoes were an inconvenience, would it be best to not require shoes? What about pants?

  10. What a disappointingly reckless and uninformed take, Gary Leff. You realize people are still getting covid, right? You realize not everyone has had the vaccine yet even people who plan to take it? You realize vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective, right? You realize the khristian reicht is in large part refusing to take the vaccine and leave our country to continue to be exposed to a virus that’s highly contagious, deadly and destructive, right? Apparently you don’t grasp any of those points otherwise you wouldn’t post such a ridiculous, moronic article. Put your mask on and stop whining.

  11. The face diaper mandates were never needed and certainly aren’t needed now. It’s fascinating watching the sheep sleep walk through life.

  12. @George
    Your BS is getting tiresome. Your flying around to all these countries when Americans can’t even get into these countries you claim to be visiting.
    You are almost close to the number of lies that stupid ignoramus lying a-hole ex-president has been expousing.
    Get over yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. It amazes me how all these complete and total morons just blindly keep towing the idiot line cast by the government to keep ignorant people from panicking. Six feet of air will save you! No….if you are a child, three feet of air will save you!

    If you wear a cheap overpriced price of tissue paper over half of your face that 95% of the air you breathe in and out directly bypasses….that will save you.

    If you believe any of that nonsense, please go get COVID and take yourself out of the misery that you cause the rest of us with more than 4 brain cells to rub together. If social distancing and masks worked, you would see differences in infection rates where they are more highly enforced….the numbers show the disease travels just as fast in the nanny state as it does where people have sense….because they DON’T WORK IN THE SLIGHTEST. Anyone with an IQ higher than their shoe size who is not so lazy and ignorant as to elect not to use the brain in their head knows this with about three minutes of critical thinking.

    Stupidity is a FAR greater threat to our society….and it is lead by these morons who believe nonsense! We should be fighting them instead of the other 50 things that we are declaring a “war” on currently.

    It’s not about Trump, he is an greedy idiot. It’s not about grandpa Joe, he is a greedy idiot too. All that the wealthy are interested in is keeping themselves in power while you morons fight over these completely nonsensical ideas because you are so full of yourselves. Please please please either come to your senses or go jump off a cliff and take your self out of the gene pool so that those of us who still value intelligence and common sense, you know….the ones who do things like make vaccines to save you idiots, can go about making a better world for future generations to live in. I know that you like the sound of your own voice far more than the greater public good, but those of us who are smart enough to get over ourselves and want a better place to live are sick of dealing with you!

  14. Maybe we could do a quick Go Fund Me and send Gary on a mileage run from JFK to DEL? We could chip in a little extra and buy him a bag of M&Ms from Costco and a Coke so he could continuously eat and drink without a mask on throughout the flight. If we raise enough, maybe he could take his family and kid/kids(?) along as well. After all, our “THOUGHT LEADER IN TRAVEL” says, “Now that every adult in the U.S. who wants a vaccine can get one there’s no longer a reason to require them.”

  15. I am vaccinated and the idea that I should still have to mask is absurd. Thankfully I lie in a part of Texas where we never adhered to the mask mandate put on by our governor. I have visited 9 other states over the past year, all like minded with either no mandate or no enforcement if there was a mandate. I have worn a mask less than 6 hours since Covid started. People I associated with were mostly not masked either. I used to fly even when driving was about the same time commitment but I have learned to enjoy road travel again and will continue to not fly till the mask mandate is lifted or I finally have to make a trip that would require more than a day of driving. It is ridiculous Biden, Pelosi, and all that crowd still wear mask even though they are all vaccinated. Just to signal how virtuous they are. Biden walking thru Arlington cemetery with a mask and not within many feet of anyone else. What an idiot. Maintaining the mandate at this point is just purely political. Fauci and Biden said Texas would pay a price for lifting the mask mandate over 6 weeks ago, yet cases consistently continue to drop. Fauci just likes the power of telling people what to do; its his 10 minutes of fame. People are still listening to him even though he is wrong more often than right. Reward people who are vaccinated by giving them their freedom and may be some who are not being vaccinated will do so.

  16. Masks make people feel safer. The safer people feel being crammed elbow to elbow with strangers, the more people will fly.

  17. No matter what science shows and what common sense tells you (barriers, barriers, corona is not the only airborne disease), there will be a group of (censored to idiots) who think they know more than everybody else, and will expose not only then, but others to diseases because they do not want to use a piece of cloth on their faces. We should make them pay for the millions of dollars we have used in controlling the pandemic, and I am sure they will use the mask without any mandate. Yes, taxing those none vaccinated and a fine for those not using a mask.

  18. Any thoughts on how someone with asthma and/or anxiety who can’t wear a mask should fly? Healthy, vaccinated but can’t fly because of mask mandate. Still can’t understand how a plane full of masked people is okay but churches and cathedrals with vaulted ceilings and lots of space are either closed or limited to 25% capacity. Some folks have tested positive for stupid.

  19. Except that those who aren’t getting vaccinated are still spreading it and variants are popping up all over the world. Not to mention that the vaccine does not claim to provide immunity, it only claims to minimize hospitalizations and deaths.

  20. 1. Masks don’t protect the wearer as much as they slow down an infected person from spreading the virus. Non-vaccinated (selfish a**holes) must be the ones required to wear a mask.
    2. Vaccinated people still get COVID and I read just yesterday a vaccinated 78 yo man died in Illinois 4 weeks after his second shot from COVID.
    I was on an American flight yesterday where the passenger across this isle from me in first refused to wear his mask the whole flight from TUL – CLT. The flight attendant offered him beverages, asked him to put his seat upright – but wouldn’t ask him to put his mask back on!

    Masks aren’t fun but they save lives – other peoples lives! Stop being selfish a**holes!

  21. Mask mandates will stay in place as long as one person is not vaccinated. Does anyone remember what the original goals were?

  22. I don’t wear a mask in my full office, when I visit restaurants, go to grocery stores. Yet I have to for a plane. Once I’m off the plane I just chin it.

  23. “During flu season I’ll almost certainly wear a mask myself…because I really hate the inconvenience of getting sick.”
    Please stop spreading the myth that masks protect the wearer. Masks protect those that the would-be wearer is breathing/coughing/spitting on.
    I’m so tired of people saying they are wearing a mask to protect themselves. CDC and WHO have consistently stated masks are for protecting others (unless you are wearing a N95 respirator and no one is doing that outside of a hospital, much less for hours on a plane).

  24. The many months during the height of the pandemic when air travel was ongoing without masks or even as the mask requirements were airline specific…..and you could remove the mask entirely for a spell to eat your food like a human…all prove that it’s not the mask and the insane application of these rules that prevented massive outbreaks traced back to flights. While there were a few cases, actually for how packed people are on aircraft there were fewer cases and certainly no massive outbreaks. Perhaps it’s because of the airflow or the fact that increased cleaning helped, but it certainly wasn’t masks because the mask mandate would have been in response to huge outbreaks everyone would have seen….entire flights coming down with the virus or massive outbreaks amongst crew…yet they remained few both without masks early in the pandemic and with later. The mask is a security blanket for many and the airlines yielded to try and keep their businesses on a paying basis. Now, there is talk of continuing the madness forever perhaps? If airlines want their businesses to return to normal ….return to normal!

  25. Gary,

    I read some of your stuff and like it. But you show a good bit of ignorance here. This is most likely a click-bait article but, here goes…

    First- I, like most of us, don’t much care for a mask.

    What is the “science” you refer to that supports the lack of a need for a mask? You didn’t reference it so I’m guessing….Facebook? I’ll save you the trouble ….there is no science that supports that, yet. In time, it may. September? Next Spring? Somewhere between those sounds about right. My thought is after the coming flu season as doctors I speak to locally are concerned that the coming flu season will be particularly harsh without masks as which flu virus to defend against isn’t as easy to figure out as a result of this current VERY mild flu season.

    When you reference “the virus that is actually circulating”, you mean the virus AND its variants…..right? The variants that have taken over in the areas now being hit hardest in the US(7 day daily average about 48k cases, 720 deaths). If we could remember, just for a minute, that as of yesterday(May 4th) an average of 720 people per day die from this and that’s WITH a mandate in place. That average puts Covid at the #3 killer in the US. behind only heart disease and cancer.

    Despite what several above tried to claim, the evidence is overwhelming that masks DO work. To those wasting time claiming otherwise, I’d ask for ANY evidence to support that….from a scientific or medical body that also offers up its info for peer-review. (Hint- Doesn’t exist).

    Unfortunately, tens-of-millions of people in this country are unwilling or unable to understand how and why masks “just work”. That being said, I don’t want a death sentence imposed on them, or worse, on someone they infect, just because of their deficiency.

    If the worst thing I need to is wear a mask for a year or two then I think I’m doing alright. Not only that, I’m hopefully helping to get to point where medical personnel in my country can finally have a day off. You do know that while we sit here with time to debate this and plan our next vacation(with or without a mask mandate) there are countless doctors, nurses, etc… who haven’t had ONE day off for the past year.

    So maybe I’m ok with this if only to make it so they can treat fewer people who are too dopey to protect themselves. As a proud American(and member of the human race) I still believe in Americans/people supporting each other, NOT every man for himself.

    Lastly, I was sorry to hear you say the mask mandate …..”We’ll certainly see the mandate lifted before the 2022 midterm elections”. I remember hearing CoVid would disappear after Nov 3rd,then after Jan 20th now…..before the mid-terms? Sadly, you followed politics here. There’s a big blue marble of a world out there and believe it or not, the rest of the marble seems to be struggling with this virus too.

  26. Masks are a common sense, easy way to continue to protect people. Unfortunately, there are people who have compromised immune systems for whom the vaccine is not very effective. Mask mandates on planes will make it safer for those people to fly until the pandemic is behind us.

  27. i agree, once the vaccines are made available to the whole population, it should be on each traveler to wear their masks, not required like seatbelts to make us look like idiots who can’t decide for ourselves

  28. Gary–very disappointing article. The masks are need as not even half the population is vaccinated.

  29. If TB is spread in much the same way, how come we haven’t had mass spread of TB on planes before? Look Daniel Horowitz article on the real science of masks. A 3.2% leak (fog your glasses) renders masks zero % effective. Mandating a one size fits all is policy based not science based.

  30. I am amazed at how many people you think are reasonably intelligent (they have jobs that require travel), yet have done nothing, with some exceptions, to determine the effectiveness of masks. I have.
    There have been several (although not as many as you would think) RCTs* in the past, oh, ten years on the effectiveness of masks. In March 2020 I read every one of those test results. Every one agreed that the N95 mask is about 15% effective. That is not a typo. Only 15% effective for the N95, much less so for the disposable, the home made, and neck gaiters. Even the CDC has said that wearing a mask does NOT REDUCE your chances of catching Covid19 and not wearing a mask does NOT INCREASE your chances of catching it. That report is out there. Try reading it.

    *RCTs – Randomized Clinical Tests or Randomized Controlled Tests

    The only effective masks are the biohazard level ones and the military style ones because they are fitted to the individual wearer, they seal, and have changeable filters, filters that must be changed EVERY TIME it is exposed to a biohazard threat.
    Everything else is useless for protection, only good for control and, sometimes, it makes people feel safer. Just like getting the gene therapy experiment injection that some call a vaccine. The current injections do not meet the clinical definition of a vaccine. (Think polio vaccine, think smallpox vaccine, etc.)
    Follow the science.

  31. I have not set foot on an airplane since January 21, 2020. And as much as I want to meet up with colleagues and customers, it has now become apparent that some travel in years past could probably not be identified as “high priority”.

    I just read the interesting piece in regards to the 1,300 unruly passenger complaints that have been reported……since February 2021. Ordinarily there are 100-150 unruly passenger complaints in a…..year.

    So no desire at the moment to share cabin space with some of the total wingnuts on airplanes these days.

  32. “The mask mandate though should sunset, based on science of the virus … ” Hah! since when did science have anything to do with this incredibly mishandled virus disaster? Once the CDC convinced Americans that they’re sick with no symptoms, the sky’s the limit for more bogus control of the population. The bureaucrats and politicians are having a ball and they certainly don’t want to go back to work, so this power play will continue until travellers revolt. You’d think that at least the airlines would have the brains to figure out that many of their frequent travellers will not fly across the country breathing in their own carbon dioxide, and their revenue would soar without the mask requirement. I just hope I don’t die of old age before I get to take another trip.

  33. Owen Daily: Your ignorance is misplaced….there have been far less unruly passengers in the last year because there have been far less passengers period. The reason for the numbers going up are the closet nazi flight/gate attendants coming out because they have practically been given the powers of arrest with absolutely no justification….and by god they are going to find a way to use it. They were picked on and unpopular in school, but people are going to pay now….that is why the numbers are going up.

  34. Gary, you are wrong and way out of line. You sound just a little bit less insane than tucker carlson.

  35. Ryan Waldron can you read?? Owen said there are far more unruly passengers despite far fewer travelers……..America has a significant population that just shoot their mouth to support a preconceived perspective and really don’t even try to understand reality.
    Tucker Carlson has become a very rich man playing with the emotions of people like you.

  36. to Sheepdog77. I’ll cut to the chase for anybody who doesn’t want to read the rest….everything he said was BS. Apparently he/she read a few sentences of a report and thought he had an “ah-hah!” moment. There is literally NOTHING on the CDC site or reports that says masks don’t work in ANY situation. Certain masks are better than others to be sure but, any reduction in transmission amounts to a reduced chance of being exposed to enough virus to “catch” the virus

    I’m guessing you hold a job but you most definitely didn’t read anything from the CDC about the effectiveness of masks. Readily available on the CDC site is info about test results on masks. ALL of it directly refutes what you say. But, there are people who read what you wrote and WANT to believe it, so they will.

    So much more on the CDC site but let’s take this directly from there-
    “Seven studies have confirmed the benefit of universal masking in community level analyses: in a unified hospital system,38 a German city,39 a U.S. state,40 a panel of 15 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.,41,42 as well as both Canada43 and the U.S.44 nationally. Each analysis demonstrated that, following directives from organizational and political leadership for universal masking, new infections fell significantly. Two of these studies42,44 and an additional analysis of data from 200 countries that included the U.S.45 also demonstrated reductions in mortality. An economic analysis using U.S. data found that, given these effects, increasing universal masking by 15% could prevent the need for lockdowns and reduce associated losses of up to $1 trillion or about 5% of gross domestic product.42”

    The numbers scattered in the above paragraph are citation references.

    It’s unfortunate you wrote such a poorly thought out article, Gary. It’s the kind of click-bait trash that gets people who have little idea what they’re talking about thinking they’re well-informed.

  37. Sheepdog is like so many that pontificate without really thinking. Just because masks aren’t 100 percent effective he has found half truths on the Internet to support his skewered perspective……..forget the statistics, if masks didn’t help how come the cold and flu season was virtually non existent this last year? Tells me two things, one, masks and social distancing obviously do have an effect and two, Covid is certainly not an “ordinary” virus. Had we done nothing we would have had a much larger cold and flu season and Covid would be out of control by now.

  38. JohnW: As usual you and those like you are just as confused as ever. You accuse others of finding what they want in the information available online when you do the EXACT same thing. You also completely ignore the political motivations of those publishing what you are reading. So….my suggestion is this. Instead of looking around the internet and cherry picking information that you want to prove the idea that you already made up your mind about to begin with is right, why don’t you put on your big boy pants and actually think for yourself! I know it’s a novel idea and requires a bit of work on your part, but it’s worth it in the end I promise.

    1. How exactly does 6 feet of air protect you from someone sneezing virus particles that can fly hundreds of feet? That’s right…..it doesn’t. Nor does a piece of plexiglass that does not cover a cashier’s workspace or walking a certain way down a grocery aisle. Social distancing is just made up BS to keep the simple minded morons that make up the majority of society from soiling their pants in panic. Stick with me now and you can maybe crawl out of that group.

    2. How exactly does a mask consisting of a few sheets of tissue paper stacked together and does not even come close to making a proper seal around the face therefor not filtering any of a person’s breath help with keeping them from breathing or spreading microscopic virus particles that are carried in the air flow? That’s right….again it does not! It’s just another of the truly idiotic things that simple minded people believe to make themselves feel better. What does protect someone from another in close proximity with an infected individual is a full face positive air flow respirator. That is why doctors and nurses in the hospital use those instead of a cute little doggy mask their auntie made them that they wear all day and never wash!

    So…you and everyone else have two choices. You can continue to stick your head in the sand and believe in nonsense, all the while continuing to give up the supposed rights that we all have in the sake of deluding yourself into feeling better, but not providing you ANY REAL PROTECTION AT ALL in the end. Or, you can wise up and start using your brain….after all that is why it is between your ears in the first place! Find the power of critical thinking and common sense and be a part of the solution rather than the problem…..because human stupidity is FAR more dangerous than any virus, bacteria, sickness, gun, bomb, or in this world or any other.

    What would have solved this crisis would have been for everyone to stay the hell home for a few weeks at the very beginning…..but most of you were too ignorant to make that itsy bitsy little sacrifice, so now that ship has sailed and the rest of us have to deal with this whirlwind of BS ad infinitum as the price for your selfishness. The least you can do is WAKE UP and help fix the mess you have created for the rest of us to deal with.

  39. Ryan, your comment, “..because human stupidity is FAR more dangerous than any virus, bacteria, sickness, gun, bomb, or in this world or any other,” sums this whole situation PERFECTLY!!!!

  40. Ryan you seem to think hurling insults makes you more correct?…….didn’t see anything in your post that countered my point that what we did dramatically reduced ordinary virus’s and if we had done a better job of masking and social distancing we could have reduced even further the spread of the more virulent Covid…I do agree with your point that improper masking is a waste of time. We should have put more effort into the distribution and use of quality masks in the beginning. You seem to think the true experts, the people with education, experience and resources far superior to what you or I possess and only have the truth as an agenda are suspect.
    Look at it this way, surely if everyone wore a quality mask from the beginning this virus would have been dramatically reduced , not an achievable accomplishment so the next best thing is what we did, a lot of spread was reduced and unfortunately, a lot got through because of faulty or no masking and people gathering in large groups.
    Not sure who has been worse in trying to prevent a common sense pragmatic approach to this …. the far left tin foil hat brigade or the MAGA hats that just want to cling to any conspiracy theory they can find to give themselves what they think is more control in their sad lives. Either way this could have been handled better, but masks and common sense social distancing was all we had till a vaccine became available.
    My take is once everyone who wants a vaccine has had a chance to get a shot has had one, we open up everything and just leave masking as an option for whoever feels so inclined. Sadly many people have been overly frightened by the removal of restrictions…similarly irrational in many ways to before when many people were overly dismissive of the seriousness of the Pandemic. We had Covidiot’s and maskholes before now we have the people afraid of a one in a many million chance of dying from Covid if vaccinated.
    There has to be a common sense middle ground to recovering from the unprecedented combination of a virus fueled by conspiracy, politics and misinformation.

  41. These comments are full of incredibly weak and sad people.

    Vaccines don’t protect you from transmission. Whether I am vaccinated or not is no concern to you. The vaccines protect you from severity, not from transmission.

    You should get your untested vaccine, wear your face diaper, and shut up about everyone else

  42. I don’t think were ever going back to the old way traveling was. After September 13th, I have a feeling it will be extended until further notice. Just like 911, COVID has permanently changed the world forever. And just like seatbelts and helmets, masks will be key to safety. Even children will get used to wearing them. We may not have to wear masks anywhere else, but definitely on planes, it will be forever. I imagine 20 million people will be banned from flying in the year 2029.

    I hate mask wearing, but I gave up hope. We have reached heard immunity and the pandemic is over. It’s become permanent. And because mask wearing is a federal law, there is no way it will ever be reversed. I know I’m not getting vaccinated because I still have to mask up.

    Like it is said, my mask protects you and your mask protects me.

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