The end of masking

I still see more people wearing masks than not here, but the whole state averaged 53 new cases a day the past week (i.e. 4ish new cases per 100,000 people), so unless there’s a big reversal I think it’s going to be soon that masks in NH become scarcely seen.

I’m carrying a mask with me when I go places, in case it’s requested; but the last couple of times I was out, there were increasingly fewer people wearing them – in one case, despite a large sign up at a meeting entry saying they were required, almost nobody had a mask on. (I think at least most of the non-wearers were vaccinated – I know some of them were – but can’t be sure about everybody.)

I’ve been getting more confident about leaving mine off; and am thinking it more likely that in at least some places around here the signal being given off is ‘I’m vaccinated’ rather than ‘I can get away with no mask!’

I expect I’d still wear one in a large crowd of strangers – but I lead a life that, for multiple other reasons, almost never involves being in large crowds anyway, and isn’t likely to at all in the immediate future.

All this dependent on their not announcing presence of a variant my vaccine doesn’t work on, of course.

Interesting, as always, the regional variation. Here in SF Bay Area, or at least in my little slice, it is still basically 100% masked in places like grocery stores. I saw someone get kicked out of a sandwich shop the other day for not having a mask (they went quietly and voluntarily - I suspect in that case it was an out-of-state contractor that was working down at a nearby refinery). That is all due to end on the 15th and I think it will be a pretty fast reversion to masklessness. But until then local adherence to state rules is still pretty close to universal.

The state rules here changed a couple of weeks ago, and the local changes appear to be in response to that – often explicitly so. Unvaccinated are still supposed to be masked; but in most situations (there are some exceptions) there’s no requirement to demand proof, and (again with some exceptions) there’s no general attempt to ask for evidence of vaccination.

I get a feeling that the unvaccinated will be the first to take off their masks in the name of “freedom.” Hopefully enough people will be vaccinated to help slow the spread.

The Commissary has gone to “masks not required for fully vaccinated people”, but all employees (and baggers) are still masked.
Ditto the library, and therefore, I assume, all other town offices.
Didn’t notice the employees at Walmart (we went through the self-checkout), but a lot of the customers were unmasked.
At Home Depot most customers and about half of the employees I saw were maskless.

Most places where I am seem to have gone from “masks required” to “fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks.”

So how do you tell by my looking at someone whether they’re actually fully vaccinated? This is where the honor system breaks down and we return to the Wild West mentality. Proceed at your own risk.

The official policy is now “fully vaccinated and liars don’t have to wear masks”.

You obviously don’t know. The CDC, I would think, was aware of this when they said fully vaccinated " can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance." As I said before, the guidance is not IF others are also fully vaccinated. That guidance came earlier. In the newer guidance, they conspicuously dropped that part, implying that fully vaccinated people are reasonably safe, while unvaxxed are not.

I stopped carrying a mask at all. All the stores around me have switched signs to some version of “Vaccinated, may mask. Unvaccinated, must mask.” About half the people in the stores have masks on still, and I bet most of them have shots anyhow.

Cases in Virginia have fallen under 200 a day, now by a good margin. There are over 8.5 million Virginians, and when you do the math, the odds a random person has any sizable odds of infecting you seem about 1 in 50,000 or less. And that’s before accounting for the odds of them succeeding in infecting you. And before you count the odds of getting sick if you’re vaccinated. On top of all that, it’s falling every day.

I’ma tempt fate and say it: In my region, COVID’s over.

I’m vaccinated and I’m unmasked unless the place where I’m going requires them. Unvaccinated people pose basically no harm to me. There will always be a 20% of people who won’t vaccinate and won’t mask. Screw them.
I won’t live in fear that the chance of me getting a severe case of covid is, say 1 in 50,000 and not 1 in 200,000 because of my unmasklessness.

The percentage of people wearing masks has really dropped this week around here. Today at Lowe’s I’d say it was 75% no masks. I don’t think we have vaccination rates that high, so either a statistical anomaly, or – more likely-- people aren’t following the rules.

But if you think about it, not following the rules poses more of a risk for the unvaccinated than the vaccinated. Which sucks if you CAN’T vaccinate, but herd immunity should provide some level of protection to everyone, even the stubborn conspiracy theorists.

First post in this thread was May 14 - almost a month ago. I’m feeling slightly less confident about the month-old CDC advice than I was then.

Countries with high levels of disease, high levels of new variants, and high levels of vaccination, are seeing high levels of break-through infection, where people who are vaccinated get COVID anyway. High levels in absolute terms. It’s a numbers thing.

Indoor mask wearing may return to the USA.

Where are you hearing this? The only indication I can find is from the Seychelles, which has a high percentage of vaccinated people, but seems to be using mainly less-effective vaccines.

And the hospitalization and death rate have been very low among those vaccinated in spite of less efficacious vaccines and widespread South African variant.

The UK. (And the hospitalization and death rate among those who test positive seems to be similar for breakthrough cases.)

Note: I’m not saying that vaccination is ineffective. What I wrote is that I think wearing a mask inside may come back.

This article from yesterday says there’s only been 83 cases reported of people in England who had both vaccine doses at least 2 weeks prior to catching the delta variant.

According to this guardian article, the vaccine (fully vaccinated) is still over 90% effective at preventing ER visits for the delta mutant (which is supposedly more contagious than even the UK mutant). One dose is over 70% effective. They don’t differentiate between fully and partially-vaccinated for admissions and deaths but the vaccinated still do better than unvaccinated.