Here’s Why I’ll Still be Wearing a Mask in the Hudson Valley
The CDC announced yesterday that they are no longer recommending vaccinated people wear masks in most situations. That's great, but I'll still have one on.
I've been following the experts on all of the recommendations since the beginning of the pandemic. Reacting to scientific information instead of emotion has served me well. So when I heard that masks are no longer necessary for vaccinated individuals I was thrilled.
Like so many other people, I'm sick of wearing a mask. Being able to walk into a store or work without a mask is something I've longed to do and couldn't be more excited about. As soon as I heard the news I cheered with excitement -- and then I looked over at my son.
At just 10 years old, my son is ineligible to receive the vaccine. That means that while the rest of us can now go back to a normal, "maskless" life, he will be left behind. I can freely hang out in restaurants, go to the movies and shop at the store, but he will still need to mask up.
After mentioning something about this predicament on social media, a self-proclaimed medical expert chastised me, declaring that "kids don't need masks." Well, that's news to me. In fact, it's recommended that anyone who's unvaccinated still wear a mask, regardless of age. Add that to the fact that my son has a history of asthma, and I can safely say that this person is terribly misinformed. It's people like this that have me concerned about what will happen over the next few weeks.
People who are hesitant to get the vaccine are also likely to be among those who are uninformed about the efficacy of masks. Because it's impossible to know who's vaccinated or not, it's impossible to know if the person breathing and talking next to my son is really vaccinated, or someone who just doesn't care if they are putting him at risk. Even with a mask on, I'll be more fearful of bringing him out in public now than I did at the height of the pandemic, and that's just sad.
My hope is that within a month or so the number of cases will continue to drop and it will be safe for everyone to drop the mask. But until that time comes, families throughout the Hudson Valley with young children are going to be stuck in the same situation that I am.
So after celebrating the end of masks for about 10 seconds I resigned to the fact that it's not over for me just yet. I comforted my son by promising him that whenever we're out together I'll wear the mask with him. I won't be wearing it for my safety or the safety of others, but to support him. So, if you see me out and about with a mask still on my face I'm not doing it for science. I'm doing it for my son.