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Are people still masking?


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On 6/24/2021 at 4:02 PM, marbel said:

Something I'm seeing among some friends/family members: people who admonished anti-maskers or mask skeptics to follow CDC guideline are now treating with disdain people who are following the new CDC guidelines and taking off their masks as allowed, once fully vaccinated. I know people are by nature inconsistent but this rather surprised me. To hear someone who said "the CDC says to mask, so put on a mask" now saying "it doesn't matter that the CDC says you can take off your mask, you need to keep masking" is a bit... jarring. 

 

On 6/24/2021 at 4:10 PM, Carolina Wren said:

The CDC has been reluctant to suggest any intervention that is not absolutely necessary, so I would consider their recommendations an absolute minimum. If the CDC says I need to do it, I'm probably already doing it (because they were very late to provide guidance), but if they have said we don't have to do something, that doesn't mean it's not prudent to do it. My state DHHS has estimated that continuing masking indoors with other households will save 1000 lives by the end of the calendar year.

I can both of these POV for sure. They were very slow to admit vaccination reduces transmission and that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks. I expect they could be slow again if it looks like there is reason to put the masks back on. However, I don’t see that anything major has changed since they gave the masks-off advice; in fact, cases have continued to go down since then, with a few exceptions. 
 

It’s too bad, in a way, that our eyes have been open to the ways our institutions work sometimes, and we are left not knowing which ones to trust. Why should I think your state health org has it right while the CDC doesn’t? That estimate of 1000 lives saved is based on what data, exactly? These epis have made so many models that have been wrong. Or, what about the WHO? —- see below

9 hours ago, KSera said:

I posted this in a different thread a couple days ago, but seems relevant to this one: WHO urges fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks as delta Covid variant spreads

 

Hopefully delta vaccine breakthrough cases don’t result in many serious cases. 

I saw that, too, but then, the WHO has to advise the entire world, the majority of which has very very low rates of vaccination.
 

And it isn’t like most of our country has followed most of what the WHO has said: 1 m (not 6 feet); slower to recommend masks; no masks under age 5 and limited, not required, for under age 12; more cautious about vaccination recommendations in pregnancy and teens; recommended against school closures. 

I can see why some think we should all still mask. I see some people still masking indoors and that’s fine. I will do it again indoors for another fall or winter if cases do indeed go up a lot again. Otherwise, I am happy to be out of masks.

It’s hot. We get acne and rashes. They are unhygienic: once you are not wearing them constantly, you realize how gross it can be, especially when taking on and off. So much bacteria, lint, dust, and yuck to have over your face. Using a new disposable for each use is somewhat cleaner, but not environmentally friendly. Switching out clean cloth several times per day is cleaner (but still potentially fibers getting into respiratory system) but probably not so effective. And it is so hard to hear people and have them hear you. There is a risk-benefit calculation to them that comes into play where there isn’t much virus around. 

Edited by Penelope
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1 hour ago, mathnerd said:

I go to the SF costco and the Coleman costco often. Almost everyone wears a mask in both of these places. Some do wear them around their mouths, which is better than no mask at all. But, bay area had many people masking even in Feb 2020 which makes this not so surprising.

The virus is lurking still, it is mutating, Delta variant is spreading in LA and the Bay Area and we might see a more virulent variant emerging. If someone is vaccinated, then the virus may not take a hold on them if they are exposed to the Delta variant. If we assume that 10% of the vaccinated population will not have protection against the Delta variant (which is what Pfizer claims) then, that would mean 15 million people in a vaccinated population of 150 million are vulnerable to hospitalization through covid . That is no small number and many choose to wear masks for that reason.

We are using vaccines with the intention of bringing the levels of covid circulating in our society so low that there is no more threat to living a normal lifestyle. But, vaccines are not 100% bulletproof at this point. The vaccines will prevent the majority of us from death if we catch the disease, prevent us from being hospitalized and we will hopefully bounce back from infections because of the scientific marvel that these vaccines are and continue on in our lives.

In reality, what we might see happening is that the vaccines will make each "wave" of covid hitting our area become smaller and smaller and at some point, either through vaccines/boosters or getting infected, our entire society will be able to fend off the virus and it will vanish and the pandemic will be gone for good. 

ETA: This first paragraph reads more confrontational than I meant it. Pretend we're having a lively but friendly discussion across a cup of coffee or wine 😁.

Everything you are saying is technically true and yet it feels framed in such a way that seems sensational. I have not heard a single expert say that anyone is remotely worried that 15 million will come close to being hospitalized with Delta. So saying that 15 million are vulnerable is true and yet isn't a helpful way to approach the discussion, imo. Yes, vaccinated people may catch Delta but everything I've read and seen is that the vaccines are highly effective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death. The number will not be zero, of course, but it's small. How small are people expecting it to get? (sincere question here) 

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01696-3  two doses of Pfizer’s jab were 88% effective [against Delta].... those who are fully protected are 94% less likely to be hospitalized [with Delta].

Same thing with  "so low it's no longer a threat to living a normal lifestyle." That's very subjective. A LOT of people think we're already there (or should be). A LOT of people don't. I'm in the vaccinated and living as normally as society allows camp. 

I love your optimism in the last paragraph. Let it be so. My gut is that the living with covid part of this process will be for many, many years to come. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if this circulated for the rest of my life in one form or another.

Edited by sassenach
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Eh. I am not anxious. I am cautious. It seems like caution is the prudent response to a virus which is still actively mutating and being studied.

I really don’t care if “you” mask or not. But I am not as big a gambler as some, apparently. Though I am also not as cautious as some. I am perfectly happy living my best life with a mask on my face indoors. It may not be doing the “most” protection but as I have felt all along, lessening risk is good enough for me. So in some situations I am unmasked and accept that risk (knowing that it’s already lessened by my vaccination) and in other very easy situations I plunk a mask on for a bit of extra protection because why not when so much is still being figured out?  

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1 hour ago, Penelope said:

I saw that, too, but then, the WHO has to advise the entire world, the majority of which has very very low rates of vaccination.

This is very true, and their recommendations have been on the less cautious side all along, because they don’t recommend things that aren’t practical to implement throughout the world. I have not used them as my personal guide post for Covid for this reason, but I still think their recommendation was relevant to this thread. 

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24 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Eh. I am not anxious. I am cautious. It seems like caution is the prudent response to a virus which is still actively mutating and being studied.

I really don’t care if “you” mask or not. But I am not as big a gambler as some, apparently. Though I am also not as cautious as some. I am perfectly happy living my best life with a mask on my face indoors. It may not be doing the “most” protection but as I have felt all along, lessening risk is good enough for me. So in some situations I am unmasked and accept that risk (knowing that it’s already lessened by my vaccination) and in other very easy situations I plunk a mask on for a bit of extra protection because why not when so much is still being figured out?  

Yeah, that's how I feel. 

Right now, we're not masking outdoors, even on playgrounds. My kids have loved having their masks off. The mask that goes on when we're in the elevator or in the store is a really minimal kind of thing, frankly. I still feel pretty joyously free a lot of the time. We're seeing people! We're going to playgrounds! We're catching up with friends! 

So to me, masking up for the riskiest activities is just a no-brainer, I guess. 

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7 hours ago, Arcadia said:

The sample stations has been back for more than a week in north bay and south bay.  They might have been back in Fremont as well.

Oh I will be so happy to taste the stuff the Apron person is cooking up again at Publix

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4 hours ago, KSera said:
 

This is very true, and their recommendations have been on the less cautious side all along, because they don’t recommend things that aren’t practical to implement throughout the world. I have not used them as my personal guide post for Covid for this reason, but I still think their recommendation was relevant to this thread. 

Except WHo just recommended a few weeks ago that all women of reproducing age not drink alcohol.  THat is not only a on scientific recommendation, it is a bad health one since low amounts of alcohol are actually beneficial to health.

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4 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, that's how I feel. 

Right now, we're not masking outdoors, even on playgrounds. My kids have loved having their masks off. The mask that goes on when we're in the elevator or in the store is a really minimal kind of thing, frankly. I still feel pretty joyously free a lot of the time. We're seeing people! We're going to playgrounds! We're catching up with friends! 

So to me, masking up for the riskiest activities is just a no-brainer, I guess. 

Yes, I agree.  I'm happy to pop my mask on indoors in public places - I'm not anxious about risks but it seems like a small thing to do to add another slice of Swiss cheese.  I'm fully vaccinated.

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Looking at the evolving situation in my state where only 38% of the people are vaccinated ( around 20% in some counties) and the hospitals are filling, we are reverting back to more caution. A month ago, I felt quite optimistic and even attended a few small indoor events with (mostly vaccinated) participants and was even considering attending a community theater event, but now I am more cautious. I am back to masking in public indoor spaces. Missouri is the embarrassing poster child for how this can all go down the drain.

I don't consider it a hardship since I don't have to spend the full day in public indoor situations. 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I strolled around our downtown area Friday evening and would estimate maybe 10% were masking, both outside and in the few stores we visited.

The numbers around here are being perceived as good (cases, deaths, hospital admissions, and positivity rate are consistently decreasing) so there's reason for optimism. Plus, as others have mentioned, there's a sense of being "over" the restrictions, including masks.

 

Edited by Hyacinth
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On 6/24/2021 at 3:25 PM, marbel said:

 

Right, sure, I get you both. My point was the inconsistency and resulting disdain for people who followed the CDC guidelines and masked (even if reluctantly at first), and are now following the CDC guidelines and deciding not to mask once fully vaccinated.  

Many people seem to use the CDC guidelines if and when they suit them. That seems to be a theme of this pandemic. I personally prefer to keep an eye on what’s going on around me and react accordingly. 

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17 hours ago, sassenach said:

My county is 80% vaccinated (including kids too young to be vaccinated) and yet I would say about 75% of people are still masking. I don't get it but I'm trying not to be bothered by it. As long as I have the option not to, I need to let the rest go.

(Though seriously, I truly don't understand the people still wearing a mask into restaurants and then taking them off at their indoor table.)

Having spent the whole past year + trying not to be bothered by people not being careful at all I truly can not understand being bothered by people being careful when I don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe we could switch for a while lol. Our unit is just about back to the Covid census during all but the worst part of the last surge. We were down to weeks of zero Covid for a while. Feels never ending. 

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1 hour ago, TCB said:

Having spent the whole past year + trying not to be bothered by people not being careful at all I truly can not understand being bothered by people being careful when I don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe we could switch for a while lol. Our unit is just about back to the Covid census during all but the worst part of the last surge. We were down to weeks of zero Covid for a while. Feels never ending. 

I'm in the medical field, too. Have you found that your fellow HCWs are more relaxed about masking? My experience is that in the break room, no one is masked. Everyone is very comfortable with their vaccine coverage (including people who have been eyeball deep in covid units). 

Sorry your census is back up. It does feel never ending.

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Masks are still technically law where I live, but most people seem to have stopped wearing them, and the only place that appears to be successfully enforcing it is the library (which unlike the other shops, has a security guard due to staff getting assaulted in the last few years).

 

It feels quite dangerous, especially since lots of people either aren't vaccinated or are partway through vaccination (I can't have dose #2 for another month). I am quite sure this is part of the reason the law requiring masks and social distancing has been delayed by 4 weeks - as if people are paying attention to that any more.

Many people are bored with the virus, but the virus is not bored of them if the increased infection statistics are any sign.

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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3 hours ago, TCB said:

Many people seem to use the CDC guidelines if and when they suit them. That seems to be a theme of this pandemic. I personally prefer to keep an eye on what’s going on around me and react accordingly. 

I read the CDC guidelines but have never felt that I had to follow them as "law".  I do, however, feel like I have to follow our local state health department mandates which usually follow the CDC guidelines.  I know that there are people who quibble about the mandates being "unconstitutional" and "government overreach" but I don't think that public health is outside of the purview of a health department and I think that I should follow the mandates even if some of them probably don't help so much.  My biggest struggle actually is seeing Christians only following the mandates if it suits them and ignoring them if it doesn't.  I personally feel like that is sin.  But I am not in charge of enforcing either government or divine mandates so I do what I feel is right and leave the rest to those in authority. 

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4 hours ago, sassenach said:

I'm in the medical field, too. Have you found that your fellow HCWs are more relaxed about masking? My experience is that in the break room, no one is masked. Everyone is very comfortable with their vaccine coverage (including people who have been eyeball deep in covid units). 

Sorry your census is back up. It does feel never ending.

I live in an area that has not had any mask mandates. Some of the people I work with hold views that have made them very reluctant to comply with any measures, despite watching first hand what was going on. Many of these  same people have not chosen to get vaccinated, not all of them, and frankly I have heard the same conspiracy theories coming from them as you see on social media. They were pretty much always blasé, but then we had a number of possible break room etc exposures, and this led management to crack down pretty hard, and enforce mask wearing. It is almost more strictly enforced in the last 2 months than it was earlier.This is because of reports from neighboring areas that cases were increasing. It’s possible that it might be because of staff vaccination rates. I honestly don’t know what percentage have been vaccinated. There are many things like that, that are uncomfortable to discuss around here due to the political climate.  I have to say though, that all of these people are very careful to wear a mask to protect patients, and I’m really glad about that. They are good people, but very invested in some things that I feel make it difficult to be objective. Honestly I struggle all the time to try and keep my mind as open as I possibly can, it’s a struggle for most of us these days. 

I, personally, feel much safer, now I’m vaccinated, and have started eating in the break room again, after almost a year of avoiding it, but we have a high incidence of Delta nearby, and possibly right here, so I have started to feel more uneasy again.

It has been a revelation to me, how much it is possible to deny what is in front of one’s face, if it doesn’t fit in with one’s strongly held beliefs. It makes it much easier to understand how some, previously incomprehensible, things happened in history. I think I have been very naive for my past 50+ years.

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21 hours ago, sassenach said:

Sample stations are back?! That might be the most shocking thing I’ve read on this thread. (I’ve been back to Costco exactly once since the pandemic began and it was way too crowded for me. Now that I’m vaxxed I just can’t muster up the will to go back. 

I saw samples in Costco today for the first time in ages. I’m in central MD. Covid rates are below one, vaccine rates are around 70. Most people are still masking in stores. I think my community is holding to see how this delta variant plays out. I have started seeing a few faces. Maybe 5-10% are unmasked at this point. I guess they’re getting all the samples. 🤣

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My kids' school district says they are tentatively planning not to require adults or children to mask in the 2021-2022 school year.  Tentatively because they want wiggle room in case we get another spike or whatever.

Last week, my kids had a mostly-indoor camp, and every human in PK+ (as young as 3yo) was required to mask the entire time.  I figured that would be the case, even though a lot of people were fully vaxed before camp started.

My kids initially said they were going to keep masking, but now they seem super happy to be maskless most of the time.

Cases in our state have gone down surprisingly fast over the past 6 weeks or so.  I kind of expected an increase after the memorial day parades etc., but there wasn't one.

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3 hours ago, TCB said:

I live in an area that has not had any mask mandates. Some of the people I work with hold views that have made them very reluctant to comply with any measures, despite watching first hand what was going on. Many of these  same people have not chosen to get vaccinated, not all of them, and frankly I have heard the same conspiracy theories coming from them as you see on social media. They were pretty much always blasé, but then we had a number of possible break room etc exposures, and this led management to crack down pretty hard, and enforce mask wearing. It is almost more strictly enforced in the last 2 months than it was earlier.This is because of reports from neighboring areas that cases were increasing. It’s possible that it might be because of staff vaccination rates. I honestly don’t know what percentage have been vaccinated. There are many things like that, that are uncomfortable to discuss around here due to the political climate.  I have to say though, that all of these people are very careful to wear a mask to protect patients, and I’m really glad about that. They are good people, but very invested in some things that I feel make it difficult to be objective. Honestly I struggle all the time to try and keep my mind as open as I possibly can, it’s a struggle for most of us these days. 

I, personally, feel much safer, now I’m vaccinated, and have started eating in the break room again, after almost a year of avoiding it, but we have a high incidence of Delta nearby, and possibly right here, so I have started to feel more uneasy again.

It has been a revelation to me, how much it is possible to deny what is in front of one’s face, if it doesn’t fit in with one’s strongly held beliefs. It makes it much easier to understand how some, previously incomprehensible, things happened in history. I think I have been very naive for my past 50+ years.

I can't even imagine. I'm sorry. I'm in the Bay Area so it's been full mask compliance and vaccine love. 

A friend said that covid has taught her that she has no ability to understand the why behind people's decision making. 

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Hardly anyone is masking outdoors here.  Most public places ask that people who are not vaccinated wear a mask, and the compliance seems to be about equal to our vaccination rate.  My diocese doesn't require anyone (including the unvaccinated) to wear masks at church anymore.  A very small number mask anyway, probably 5% at the parish we are members of.  I started taking the kids to another church with a better layout, lower attendance, and more masking.  My kids mask for church.  Aside from that, I try not to take the kids into public buildings without a pretty compelling reason.

Re the masking at a restaurant: I think it might still make things a little safer because it someone is infected the total viral load expelled during their visit will be lower if they are masked when not eating.  We know the inoculum is a major factor in severity of disease, and common sense suggests it's also a factor in whether a vaccinated person will succumb after an exposure.

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Our mask mandates and limits on # of people indoors in public spaces were lifted on the 15th. Now, LA county has started recommending that people wear masks indoors as the number of infections from Delta is rising again:

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/l-a-county-urges-everyone-to-wear-masks-in-public-indoor-places-as-delta-variant-spreads/

 

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35 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

 Now, LA county has started recommending that people wear masks indoors as the number of infections from Delta is rising again

http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=3206

“June 28, 2021

With increase circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) strongly recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as a precautionary measure. In the week ending June 12, Delta variants comprised of nearly half of all variants sequenced in Los Angeles County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Delta variants are now responsible for about one in every five new infections across the country, up from approximately one in every 10 the week before. 

Public Health strongly recommends people wear masks indoors in settings such as grocery or retail stores; theaters and family entertainment centers, and workplaces when you don't know everyone's vaccination status. Until we better understand how and to who the Delta variant is spreading, everyone should focus on maximum protection with minimum interruption to routine as all businesses operate without other restrictions, like physical distancing and capacity limits. 

Fully vaccinated people appear to be well protected from infections with Delta variants, however people with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not as well-protected. The smaller number of COVID-19 infections identified in people who are fully vaccinated have been mild illnesses.”

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@mathnerd https://www.sfchronicle.com/local/article/Should-you-start-wearing-a-mask-again-as-the-16280355.php

Counties may choose to implement tighter — but not looser — restrictions. The nine Bay Area counties, which mostly aligned with the state's relaxed guidance starting in mid-June, were still weighing their options Tuesday after Los Angeles County's move.”

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

@mathnerd https://www.sfchronicle.com/local/article/Should-you-start-wearing-a-mask-again-as-the-16280355.php

Counties may choose to implement tighter — but not looser — restrictions. The nine Bay Area counties, which mostly aligned with the state's relaxed guidance starting in mid-June, were still weighing their options Tuesday after Los Angeles County's move.”

Thank you! That was behind a paywall for me but the excerpt is helpful.

My neighbor who is the HR manager in a local tech company said that they have been notified that Bay Area counties might bring back the mask mandate for indoor public spaces. They are trying to keep the Delta virus from spreading and mutating (there is a Delta Plus variant out in the world already and it is much more vicious than Delta) ...

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bringing-back-mask-mandate-is-a-good-idea-doctor-on-delta-variant-135926196.html

 

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@mathnerd

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-sees-drop-pfizer-vaccine-protection-against-infections-still-strong-2021-07-05/
”JERUSALEM, July 5 (Reuters) - Israel reported on Monday a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic illness but said it remained highly effective in preventing serious illness.

The decline coincided with the spread of the Delta variant and the end of social distancing restrictions in Israel.

Vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64% since June 6, the Health Ministry said. At the same time the vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness from the coronavirus.

The ministry in its statement did not say what the previous level was or provide any further details. However ministry officials published a report in May that two doses of Pfizer's vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalization and severe illness.”

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4 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

@mathnerd

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-sees-drop-pfizer-vaccine-protection-against-infections-still-strong-2021-07-05/
”JERUSALEM, July 5 (Reuters) - Israel reported on Monday a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic illness but said it remained highly effective in preventing serious illness.

The decline coincided with the spread of the Delta variant and the end of social distancing restrictions in Israel.

Vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64% since June 6, the Health Ministry said. At the same time the vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness from the coronavirus.

The ministry in its statement did not say what the previous level was or provide any further details. However ministry officials published a report in May that two doses of Pfizer's vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalization and severe illness.”

I’m seeing a lot of uncertainty about the basis and veracity of the 64% number. There doesn’t seem to be information on where that number comes from. 
 

 

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Mask restrictions were lifted June 30. I saw no real changes in masking until the weekend. I would say what had been almost 100% masking went down to 50%. It doesn’t bother me but I am still staying more cautiously masked than not. I figure if things start trending the other way again I would rather already be masking and not to have exposed myself needlessly. But because of my vaccination status I don’t care anymore what others do. Vaccination has made masking something that I can now do to protect myself- an extra level of protection to augment the benefits of vaccination as we open up and enter into a new viral unknown.

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Posted (edited)

I'm continuing what we've been doing -- not masking outside but masking indoors. I am letting my kids go unmasked in playgrounds. The numbers here are low and I am enjoying that. I will change behavior if they go up. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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John Pavlovitz, who is a writer I follow but not someone I know, has been vaccinated, as have his wife and his teenaged son.  His 11 year old daughter, obviously, has not been.  All four of them have contracted covid, and all but the teenaged son are definitely sick.  Not hospitalized or anything, but sick.  They were still masking and being careful, according to him, although I know people's definitions vary a lot.  

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

John Pavlovitz, who is a writer I follow but not someone I know, has been vaccinated, as have his wife and his teenaged son.  His 11 year old daughter, obviously, has not been.  All four of them have contracted covid, and all but the teenaged son are definitely sick.  Not hospitalized or anything, but sick.  They were still masking and being careful, according to him, although I know people's definitions vary a lot.  

Ugh. Where's he from? 

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26 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Mask restrictions were lifted June 30. I saw no real changes in masking until the weekend. I would say what had been almost 100% masking went down to 50%. It doesn’t bother me but I am still staying more cautiously masked than not. I figure if things start trending the other way again I would rather already be masking and not to have exposed myself needlessly. But because of my vaccination status I don’t care anymore what others do. Vaccination has made masking something that I can now do to protect myself- an extra level of protection to augment the benefits of vaccination as we open up and enter into a new viral unknown.

I thought we still had a mask mandate, but it is only for unvaccinated people inside stores and such, with exceptions for health care settings, K-12 and so on where everyone is required to wear one.  If you have other information I would love to see it.

 

As far as around my neck of the wood, I have barely seen a mask in over a week.  People are just throwing caution to the wind and doing whatever they want.  There were huge crowds at our local 4th of July gathering in town, we skipped it.  My family is fully vaccinated, but  I am trying to remain cautious until there are better stats on the vaccine's efficacy against the delta variant.

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1 hour ago, Loowit said:

I thought we still had a mask mandate, but it is only for unvaccinated people inside stores and such, with exceptions for health care settings, K-12 and so on where everyone is required to wear one.  If you have other information I would love to see it.

 

As far as around my neck of the wood, I have barely seen a mask in over a week.  People are just throwing caution to the wind and doing whatever they want.  There were huge crowds at our local 4th of July gathering in town, we skipped it.  My family is fully vaccinated, but  I am trying to remain cautious until there are better stats on the vaccine's efficacy against the delta variant.

You’re right on the mandate. Everyone I know is vaccinated though so I tend to forget the unvaccinated part. 

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34 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

You’re right on the mandate. Everyone I know is vaccinated though so I tend to forget the unvaccinated part. 

Thanks, I was wondering if there was something I missed.  It is sometimes confusing on what the exact mandates are.

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When I'm out nowadays, I see maybe one masked person per 200 unmasked people.

We don't wear masks anymore, but carry them with us so if a store has "masks required" or "please wear a mask" posted on their door, we'll pop our mask on before we enter their store.

Other than that, we're trusting in the vaccine (while still washing hands like crazy and giving strangers plenty of space around us).

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4 hours ago, Terabith said:

John Pavlovitz, who is a writer I follow but not someone I know, has been vaccinated, as have his wife and his teenaged son.  His 11 year old daughter, obviously, has not been.  All four of them have contracted covid, and all but the teenaged son are definitely sick.  Not hospitalized or anything, but sick.  They were still masking and being careful, according to him, although I know people's definitions vary a lot.  

Seeing his post, plus the Israeli news, has me considering masking again once we get home from our trip to see family.  

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

@mathnerd

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-sees-drop-pfizer-vaccine-protection-against-infections-still-strong-2021-07-05/
”JERUSALEM, July 5 (Reuters) - Israel reported on Monday a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic illness but said it remained highly effective in preventing serious illness.

The decline coincided with the spread of the Delta variant and the end of social distancing restrictions in Israel.

Vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64% since June 6, the Health Ministry said. At the same time the vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness from the coronavirus.

The ministry in its statement did not say what the previous level was or provide any further details. However ministry officials published a report in May that two doses of Pfizer's vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalization and severe illness.”

Thanks @Arcadia

The older report from Israel dated March/April 2021 where it was claimed that the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective against Covid was a study of data where more than 80% of tested specimens were of the Alpha variant. That study was unable to evaluate vaccine effectiveness against the Beta (South African) variant or the Delta (Indian) variant due to the lack of infected patients caused by these strains in Israel at the time of that study.

So, it makes sense that they are seeing lower vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant now because this strain is much more virulent than its ancestors.

 

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Masking in stores is the norm in my town. In the adjacent city, it is not. The state capital is the next one over and there it seems about 50/50. Masking in medical settings is required. All of these locations are within 20 minutes of our home, so it’s a spectrum within a very short distance. 

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The majority of people were not masking in places like grocery stores when I was in Texas a couple of weeks ago.  Masks were required in the DFW airport. 

I flew to Italy and masks were required in all indoor places--hotels, stores, museums, busses, trains. There was a high degree of compliance, besides young children the people I saw routinely not having mouth and nose covered were those who appeared to be 70 or older.  In intercity trains, every other seat was blocked off, but on regional trains signs were in place for people to take every seat and avoid standing as to prevent crowds.  Museums were taking reservations and had timed entries to limit crowds.  I had my temperature checked more times in a week than I have had in the past ten years.

I took the train to Austria.  In Italy the middle seat had to be empty, but once you crossed the Austrian border someone could sit in the seat.  However, once you crossed the border into Autria you had to wear an N95 mask (any type of mask was allowed in Italy as long as it covered your mouth and nose).  In the past couple of days the requirement in Austria has changed from requiring N95 masks simply to wearing a mask  

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, mathnerd said:

So, it makes sense that they are seeing lower vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant now because this strain is much more virulent than its ancestors.

 

Do you mean more transmissible? I don’t think there is any evidence it’s more virulent. It makes sense that with more transmissibility and more virus circulating again, plus slight decrease in effectiveness of vaccine, that there are more opportunities for vaccine to fail.

For those that continue to mask, I am curious, what is the endgame for you? Wait for the virus to finish running through the population, and then unmask? Continue masking for years? Or, don’t know, wait and see. 
 

I think that in some some sense, public messaging has been either confusing or too simplistic. There should never have been an expectation that people would not ever get infected after vaccination. The realistic expectation is that probably most of us will, eventually. We get vaccinated so that it will be mild or hopefully even unnoticeable. 
 

I am not sure how the takeaway message from a mostly vaccinated family getting sick even with continued masking would be to continue masking even after vaccination. We can’t conclude much from one anecdote, but if there is a conclusion, it might be that community masking isn’t that useful against an airborne virus. 

Edited by Penelope
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