While COVID-19 cases are going down and vaccinations are ramping up across the nation, it is still important to follow health officials guidelines set to keep people safe and ultimately end the pandemic.
However, several states have loosened restrictions, such as mask mandates and business capacity limits, which will only be detrimental to the general public.
While several vaccines have become available to the general public, that does not stop the spread of the virus. In fact, more COVID variants are being discovered in the United States daily.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country has more than 2,500 cases of coronavirus variants that are easier to spread and can even dodge some treatments and immunities, such as the COVID vaccine that took so long to become available to the general public in the first place.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate for the state on Tuesday, making this the largest state to do so despite their COVID-19 death toll exceeding 49,000 people. Restaurant owners, public schools, and various establishments are also planning on fully reopening and removing the coronavirus safeguards such as masks and socially distanced gathering which the CDC warns could potentially damage all of the progress the country has made with generating suitable vaccines.
According to a report on Tuesday from American Association of Retired Persons, there are 15 other states that do not currently have a mask mandate in place: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.
While several states are eager to return to normalcy, it is important not to disregard the fact that people’s lives are lost every day to coronavirus. Mask mandates and strict social distancing orders are essential to protecting people until COVID-19 is under control.