Masks have been a normal part of life for over a year now. That said, with recent CDC guidelines changing for vaccinated individuals, mask confusion is likely to be at an all-time high. To help you ease through this transition to yet another “new normal,” here are some tips to keep in mind.
Go With Your Comfort Level
First and foremost, if you’re vaccinated, you now have a choice in front of you. For most indoor spaces and nearly all outdoor spaces, you have the option of whether you want to wear a mask.
It’s important to note that you can still choose to wear a mask even if your local mask mandate has been lifted. If you’re immunocompromised or otherwise anxious about taking your mask off, you’re not required to do so. Pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings and plan accordingly, because those emotions are valid.
Stay Home When You’re Sick
Vaccinated or not, the days of maintaining our regular life while sick should be over. Not only is this better for your own health and well-being, but it’s also better for those around you. Whether wearing masks or not, going out in public while under the weather is a faux pas you don’t want to commit.
Be Mindful of Those Around You
Just as we’ve experienced differing thoughts and feelings regarding mask-wearing, we’re likely to have differing opinions about whether vaccinated individuals should wear masks.
According to the CDC, in most situations, it’s your choice. As such, you need to respect the choices of others. Just because you feel more comfortable wearing a mask isn’t to say someone else doesn’t, and just because you’re ready to toss your mask aside isn’t to say someone else feels comfortable doing the same. Be mindful of your surroundings and respect others, always.
Don’t Make Your Decisions Based on Others
While you should undoubtedly respect the way others feel and their ability to make their own decisions, that’s not to say you should allow it to dictate what you do for yourself. As mentioned, you are in control of what you want to do, and others shouldn’t pressure you into something you’re uncomfortable with.
If you’re vaccinated and allowed to attend an event without a mask, don’t let others pressure you into feeling like you have to anyway, and vice versa. We are all battling our own feelings about the pandemic, so your comfort level will not always be the same as those around you.
The bottom line is that we should all be polite, mindful, and otherwise respectful of those around us. You don’t know who is vaccinated. You don’t know who is immunocompromised. You don’t know everyone’s story.
There’s no need to comment on another individual’s mask-wearing habits. And there’s no need to feel pressured to follow what those around you are doing.
The bottom line is that you should be adhering to your personal level of comfort, respecting the rights and comfort levels of others, and ensuring that you follow safety measures based on CDC guidelines and the locations you visit. While that may sound overwhelming initially, these tips will help ease you through it.