So, is anyone changing their habits as a result of what's happening around them now? Yes, but fewer than one might expect. Some shoppers who aren't wearing masks indicated they are assessing the risks and could put them on again. But most appeared set in their ways -- whether they've been wearing masks all along or ditched them long ago. Here's what they told us: [...]
"It hadn't really crossed my mind, I hadn't thought to follow cases."
"Since [getting COVID], I was like, 'Let's move on with life.'"
"We gave up."
"Knock on wood."
"My trust is not in the mask, it's in God."
He said he rarely masks up because he's been vaccinated and because he thinks he had COVID in June.
"I feel safe. I like feeling comfortable. I feel comfortable now."
"It takes so little effort that it's stupid not to do it. It's the easiest thing to do. I can't believe people who think it's some kind of imposition when it's what's best for society."
[She] walked around the store with her black mask just below her nose. The mask covered only half of her mouth. After months of not wearing a mask, she said she's trying to get back into the habit of wearing one. "It's the cold season," she reasoned. "It's not just good for COVID."
Masks, such a hardship.
The Chronicle's unscientific count found more people going without masks by a fairly wide margin.
I've been masking indoors all along. Skipping indoor holiday parties. Definitely paying attention to the statistics.
I was curious about how California dealt with this, during the Spanish influenza epidemic's second wave. Answer: about the same as today, and divides were northern/southern:
They should have added a third graphic of the person with the mask below their nose.
That lines up with my experience of being one of a small minority wearing a mask in public in Missouri. There's been a bit of an uptick the last month or so but for most of this year there were many times I would be the only person in a store wearing a mask. Nobody's ever given me crap about it, I can't recall ever getting so much as a funny look from anyone, but there just aren't many people who are willing to do it.
It's the same here in FL, I'm usually the only one in the store wearing a mask. No ones mentioned it. I think most people aren't going to say anything to you because they don't know your health situation. If I had to work in the store I might not wear one, but as someone who visits for a short time it's not that inconvenient so I think I'm in the permanent mask camp.
Let me tell you, Internets, about traveling through airports right now.
I have spent the past two weeks desperately trying to avoid catching COVID and bringing it to my parents. Only to have my mother tell me, upon arrival, "oh [neighbor] is hosting a holiday open house tomorrow, do you want to come?" I opted for the verbal report-out the following day. At which time she told me 1) yes, it was indoors. 2) no, no one wore masks because there were snacks and drinks. 3) The cheese and crackers she was serving me before dinner were... leftovers from the snack table. But this was fine because "we had COVID six weeks ago, and everyone has had their flu shot recently."
Excuse me while I go do injectable drugs and have unprotected sex now because god knows my mother's voice was in my head all through college preventing me from doing things that might RISK MY HEALTH AND LIFE.
It's natural selection in action. People act in an environment, and consequences will be reflected in the gene pool. On a more practical note, after assiduously guarding against the trifecta ahead of visiting my parents, my whole family was struck down by the flu from my niece.
I was the lone professor in my department requiring masks all semester, but the students were really good natured about it. And overall after a brief burst at the beginning of the semester they were all healthier than normal.
I, on the other hand, have been non-stop sick the past 2 months because my kids' elementary school is a stewing mess of RSV/Flu/Covid and only a handful of students mask (mostly kids of doctors/nurses). 25% of that school was out just before Thanksgiving and we had to cancel our turkey as we all caught something. And now we just had to cancel Christmas with the in-laws because one of our kids had close contact with a friend over the weekend and the friend now has Covid.
My kids' school--which required masks far longer than most other schools in SF--finally went mask-optional for this school year. And that's how after two low-illness years I got sick two months into the school year, and stayed sick for over four weeks (with a cough that's still lingering a bit). I repeatedly tested negative for COVID, so I'm assuming this was some combination of RSV and flu.
This from my bed, working through my first time of covid, because some bozo next to me on the crowded tram (masks mandatory here) blabbered into his smartphone the whole ride, mask conveniently below the chin. Shoulda said something, instead of just turning my head, I guess.
"There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it again."
Y'know that feeling when you're scrolling and you can't tell if you're looking at a headline from the actual NY Times or just the hilarious NY Times Pitchbot account?
That's how I felt yesterday (via Internet Archive, 'cause I'm not linkin' to the actual Times at this point): https://web.archive.org/web/20221226122508/https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/26/us/covid-masks-risk.html
Can't wait until we return full-force to 2020/2021's victim blaming where there's a search for any "justification" in someone's past. Ah, see, they had asthma as a teenager, so it's fine that they died; no reason for the rest of us HEALTHY folks to concern ourselves!
Oh, we are well past victim-blaming at this point. The most frequent anti-vaxxer bullshit I've heard over the past 12 months was either A - "You do/did have COVID, you just don't know it!" or B - "People get COVID because of the vaccine!"
Hell, about a month or two ago, I was standing outside a pizza spot I love and two wealthy assholes were planning their international trips. One actually said outloud: "I've already had COVID twice, but what're you gonna do - stay inside all the time?"