[Opinion] It is too soon for the removal of masks and other COVID-19 mandates across the United States



A woman walks past a sculpture in the Museum District in Houston, Texas on March 10, 2021. Texas statewide mask mandate has ended as of March 10, 2021. Businesses are also now allowed to operate at full capacity as long as the hospitals in their region haven’t been treating a large share of patients for Covid-19. Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was loosening those restrictions so businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny. (Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Sofia Osio, Section editor

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that took the entire world by storm, many Americans have debated over whether or not prevention mechanisms enforced by the government, such as mask mandates and travel requirements, have been beneficial or even necessary. 

News flash: it always has been, still is and forever will be necessary to have such restrictions in place if you don’t put on your mask. 

In several states across the United States, including Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming, the requirements for masks in public spaces and venues have been eradicated. While such stupidity amongst these governments in the midst of an ongoing pandemic is not a surprise, it serves as a severe implication in the progression of alleviating the world of such COVID-19 restrictions. 

Although several may argue that the requirement for mask enforcements are not necessary due to reclining numbers of COVID-19 cases, evidence shows that even with these progressively declining numbers, these mandates are necessary. The use of masks is the most effective way, second to total isolation, to prevent, and even stop completely, the spread of COVID-19. 

Unless anti-maskers would rather stay at home completely, receive both COVID-19 immunizations or wait until herd immunity fully reaches the U.S., then the use of a mask in public spaces is the only way to stop spreading this infectious virus. These restrictions need to be implemented to reach a point in time where masks are no longer necessary. Today is not that time. 

It is also shown that even those with immunizations are not 100 percent safe if they come in contact with those infected. 

“While the new guidance is a positive step, many more people need to be fully vaccinated before everyone can stop taking most COVID-19 precautions,” the CDC said

Not only are the removal of masks, the introduction of limited indoor capacity and enforced social distancing detrimental to the plateauing numbers of COVID-19, but it is also directly defiant of the recommendations of the CDC and the president. Many other states, five in total, have also lifted capacity restrictions in restaurants and other businesses in hopes of reopening their economies, all the while disregarding the plea from President Joe Biden and his administration to postpone their eager re-openings. 

“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask and forget it,” Biden said to White House reporters on March 3. “It’s critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science.”

Some Republican governors are clearly willing to stop at nothing to oppose both President Biden and CDC recommendations with their impotent impatience, radical requests and irrational actions. The unwarranted use of their implicit bias, ignorance of the science behind such restrictions and exploitation in individualized COVID-19 mandates will cause major, likely life-threatening, implications in the nation’s road to recovery and herd immunity. 

Without the containment and re-tightening of these newly loosened restrictions, the country as a whole will continue to suffer the everlasting effects driven by those who refuse to follow or abide by mandates throughout the states. Though difficult and tiring, governors everywhere now need to take a hard look at the state in which America is in, and consider the immense implications of the removal of COVID-19 mandates nationwide.