By: Tyler Shaw
I recently took a weeklong road trip to Connecticut for my grandfather’s memorial service and to visit friends and family. As I was packing for the road trip ahead I realized that I hadn’t left the state of Florida since the start of COVID-19 pandemic and I began to wonder what life was going to be like in the Northeast as opposed to Florida.
After spending a week in Connecticut, I can confidently say that the two biggest differences that I experienced were masks being required by many businesses and the behavior of everyday Connecticuters.
On May 20th, just one week before I arrived in Connecticut, their statewide mask mandate ended.
Despite this, the vast majority of businesses I visited still required masks to be worn while indoors, even if individuals had been vaccinated. The few businesses I visited that no longer required masks to be worn indoors had signs and sometimes even employees “kindly asking” people to wear a mask if they hadn’t been vaccinated.
To my surprise, even a rock climbing gym, Prime Climb in Wallingford, required masks. Prime Climb is an athletic facility for advanced climbers, the vast majority of which are both young and athletic. This was frustrating to me because according to their policy, young, healthy and vaccinated people still need to wear masks which is clearly contrary to the science and ultimately defeats the purpose of getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the first place.
While I was surprised that vaccinated people still needed a mask, I was even more surprised by the behavior I observed from Connecticuters.
Everywhere I went, people who had been vaccinated, were making the conscious choice to wear their masks even when it wasn’t required. When I asked them why, I heard similar responses such as, “I don’t know what people have” and “It just feels safer to wear a mask.”
With so many people hesitant to take off their masks even after being vaccinated, and after new evidence including emails to and from Dr. Fauci have been released indicating that masks did nothing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it makes me wonder what the negative long term effects these year mandates will have on the American public moving forward.
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