So, as I am writing this article the night before as I often do, today is the first day that all COVID-19 requirements have been removed in Pennsylvania, with the exception of masking, unless you are fully vaccinated. As of this writing, masking mandated are planning to become lifted on June 28th or whenever 70% of adults in our commonwealth are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first.
I can assure that while Pennsylvania will be mask free, it will still be a requirement in some establishments to practice masking and distancing as the establishment policy can override the government policy. For example, this weekend, I was at an Applebee’s that had a large sign in their door that stated that masks had to be worn when navigating around the premises, regardless if you are fully vaccinated or not. Furthermore, in places were distancing cannot be assured, such as small confined spaces, like a museum gift shop I was in this weekend as well where this cannot be practiced, masks were required for all as well.
As we turn the calendar on a new month, I would wish to have a joyful summer. I get the various levels of government being pressured by constituents to lessen the restrictions, but are we sure we can do it soon. I don’t know. What I also don’t know is the quality of the numbers that we have received over the past year. I know this is a heated topic and while I do know that there was definitely something that made people sick, it was very different in so many people. This was a new virus, and indeed we didn’t know as much as know now. There was a great sense of fear and the rush to vaccinate, which at a time became politicized in America, then pinning politics with keeping people safe, which was a recipe for disaster.
As we move into yet another chapter of this pandemic, we again will learn about how the numbers play out in both vaccination and diagnosed cases. I do believe that COVID has taught is the need to slow down our speed a bit along with enhance technology for video conferencing and introducing things medically, such as telehealth. Of the latter we have seen its pros and cons and if we didn’t have this pandemic to give it is trial, then it may have not even be thought of. I just hope many of the things would remain in place that were brought forth during COVID to benefit the less fortunate. With advancements being brought forth in technology, it would be nice to have more things being delivered remotely when possible as to reduce travel time that people have to spend in vehicles and increase productivity.
Since having the chance to be in public since some mandates for masking have been lifted for the fully vaccinated such as myself, I have experienced some of that freedom. When I do and have to abruptly switch to an environment where I need to mask due to a requirement, if the air is not properly circulating, it can be difficult to maintain comfort. I know there will be a day that we can ditch the mask completely, however even if the state government removes the order, as I have stated earlier, an establishments regulation can still override any other order because they do not only see it as a state thing rather as a national or international trend and how the corporation feels about it. Additionally, masking may still be required for at-risk populations in order to keep individuals with compromising health conditions safe from the virus. As I have always say, the vaccine only gives you additional armor against the virus so that you don’t get extremely ill should you contracting the virus. I hope that by practicing these new mandates that we can take a step in the right direction, although respect the choices of those who still want to practice the proper precautions.