COVID: Reasons some vaccinated people refuse to go maskless


By Faith Karimi, CNN

(CNN) — Texas resident Robert Soto can’t wait to visit his favorite karaoke spots in Austin. He says he’ll be wearing his mask when he belts out “Amber” by 311 or “The Promise” by When in Rome — his go-to songs every time he grabs the mic at a bar.

Soto plans to resume some social activities after he gets his second vaccine shot this month, joining the more than 100 million Americans who are fully vaccinated. But his life will be nothing like his carefree pre-pandemic days.

“I will probably still wear my mask and avoid shaking hands for a long while,” he says.

For Soto and many other pandemic-weary Americans, this is a tricky time. The vaccinated are emerging from 14 months of social isolation into a world where key questions remain about where and when to wear a mask.

Is that unmasked person near me vaccinated? If I don’t wear a mask, am I setting a bad example or making others uneasy?

This confusion is sparking political debates similar to ones seen in the early days of the pandemic. And while places are reopening and things feel safer, lingering anxieties remain.

Pandemic trauma has boosted fears about going out without a mask

Americans who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask in some instances outdoors or when they’re with people from their own household, according to new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the agency urges vaccinated people to continue to take precautions in indoor public settings.

Discrepancies between state and local rules are adding to the confusion.

For example in Utah, where the state’s mask mandate expired in April, some businesses continue to enforce face coverings. Restaurants and stores in many states have been struggling to balance service and safety.

In Texas, Soto can opt to go maskless. Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state’s mask mandate in March, allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity. But even with his invigorated immune system, Soto plans to keep wearing a mask in public, with or without crowds.

His parents have pre-existing health conditions and his sister has a newborn, and he wants to keep them safe. Also, federal health officials have said vaccinated people can still get and spread coronavirus as long as there’s community transmission.

“I will admit that I am afraid of being judged by people who are less concerned than me. It makes me not want to wear the mask so I can avoid stares and judgment,” he told CNN. “But I will just have to push through that because my health and the health of my family is more important.”

Health experts say such concerns are the result of a year of pandemic trauma.

Even in a post-pandemic world, some people will experience fear, confusion and anxiety, says Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera, president of the American Psychiatric Association’s Hispanic caucus.

Some people are finding it hard to let go of their …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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