Was allowing the option of wearing masks after the vaccine the best idea?

A new term has been identified!

There has been a word circulating among TikTokers, if not many people, referring to masks. What exactly is it, you might ask? Mask fishing. The idea that someone looks far more appealing while wearing a mask than they do without one.

Many individuals, and sure you do as well, make assumptions about a person’s appearance based on only seeing half of their face. Sometimes, when they take off their masks, they don’t always look the way you anticipated them to. Is that another reason to keep your mask on?

Nevertheless, many people have been getting insecure about whether they are “mask fishing.”

TIKTOK/@yesenia_senirella, picture before and after wearing a mask
TIKTOK/@yesenia_senirella, picture before and after wearing a mask

For perspective, the day after the CDC announced that you didn’t have to wear a mask after you’re vaccinated, you went outside to take a walk and/or run. Thereupon, you happened to bump into a friend or date you made during the pandemic. They are suddenly taken aback to see how different you look without a mask.

iSchool senior, Kiran Aliah, described it as “the thing where people are hot til they pull their mask down.”

He added, “But most of the time, people look normal enough.”

As expressed by many “humorlessly,” that’ll be one motivation to keep their masks up. That is,Not wanting to disappoint people’s expectations of how you should look, as well as protecting yourself and others from germs.

Why do people prefer to keep their masks on?

Being used to wearing masks, they have developed the practice of making habitual mouth movements and sneakily eating. For instance, when you pretend to grin, your eyes are actually squinting to make it appear as though you’re smiling.

I’m not saying you should develop a bad habit or find a means to keep your mask on, rather doing it in spite of everyone’s and your health and safety.

So, can conversing in close proximity or suffering a simple cold land you in the ICU?

Possibly…

As of now, the spread of saliva and moisture droplets in the air, which are invisible to human eyes, can create long-term respiratory difficulties. In particular, the occurrence of COVID-19.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) made a statement in May of 2021 that masks are no longer required while leaving your house after receiving your vaccination. Citizens had varied feelings about the exemption of masks, with some expressing joy and relief and others advising others to continue wearing their masks because the pandemic is not yet over. However, many, if not all, establishments and/or modes of transportation continue to mandate the use of a mask.

Why are masks so needed? Masks are a type of face protection that shields your face from dust and contaminants in the air. While it is not guaranteed that you will not contract COVID while wearing one, it is a layer of protection akin to a car seat belt. Assume you’re driving one day when another vehicle collides with yours. The seat belt will automatically pull you back, but it doesn’t change the fact that you may have been injured as well. It does, however, reduce the likelihood of additional and more serious accidents.

Just a few months ago, the Delta strain, a more lethal and transmissible strain of COVID, was identified to be from India. It made its way to the United States, as well as, negatively impacting other major regions like the U.K. too. Just two months before masks were ruled optional following immunizations?

Chart by Katharina Buchholz about the numbers of Delta cases in different regions

And it begs the question of whether we should keep implementing masks, specifically for the vaccinated or go back to the original quarantined state.

“I would still wear a mask, even if I’m vaccinated,” iSchool freshman Jordan Kaufman mentioned.

She expressed her reaction to seeing people not wearing masks outside, “I was surprised when the government permitted the use of optional masks outside after receiving vaccine doses. It [Delta Variant] can still hurt people and they should be aware and careful of it.”

Jordan also emphasized that,“To me, getting the vaccines felt like I was helping my parents and saving lives.”

As of July 2021, CDC urgently pleaded with many of the vaccinated citizens to take on even more safe guarded coverage. Since, it has been a matter of time, it kept increasing. We know how infectious and transmissible Delta is, so what is the cause of citizens to not abide by the guidelines?

Was it the forbidden fresh air that was never inside houses, or was it because all they wanted was a normal life again?

Then again, we can never go back in time; this is possibly a tainted piece of history. Coincidentally, it appears that a pandemic has occurred every 100 years. It’s a conspiracy theory made big from the social media platforms, Facebook and TikTok. However, as compared to other pandemics, this one may be more manageable because of advances in technology and science.

The mortality toll, on the other hand, is rising by the day, particularly in the United States. Why? Unlike many other countries, particularly East Asian countries, they have worn masks to protect others from an individual’s illness long before COVID was a thing. Thus making them one of the fastest countries with lower rates of COVID. We have implemented preventive measures, but stricter rules should be imposed.

Kiran has spoken about a personal impact on COVID within one of his family members and his thoughts.

“I liked the lockdown part, but it killed my grandad, so that wasn’t fun.”

When asked about his opinions or say on the individual’s choice of wearing a mask after taking the vaccine, he encouraged:

“[Masks] should still be forced inside businesses. In restaurants, you should only eat in if you’re vaccinated.”

Someone with similar morals is Noah Meserve, an iSchool freshman.

When he discussed his experiences with vaccine adverse effects and how he still wears his masks on certain occasions, he disclosed that

“Yes, I’ve taken the vaccine. The first felt fine, but the second one was a complete wreck. I felt very sick with a 95 degree fever. I mean I still wear a mask, but around my friends I don’t really. At that point COVID was going down, so I thought it was fine.”

All of their comments about the Delta variation have either stated that they didn’t know much about it and Kiran thought, “Everyone hyped it up, not much happened. [You] should still wear your mask and stuff tho.”

Whether or not everyone hyped it [Delta Variant] up or not, when you’re travelling and going out, specifically to areas where there are crowds. For everyone and your safety, it’s best to keep them on until the whole pandemic is over.