No mask mandate? No problem? As New Yorkers grapple with the loosening mask restrictions, many people are weary and uncertain about whether or not that the mask mandate should be lifted.
On March 2, Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the mask mandate for all indoor facilities.
Most public facilities such as schools, restaurants, and grocery stores have also lifted their mask mandates for employees. Lifting the mandate raises concerns for some people like those with health issues or those who have family members who may be immune compromised.
Three questions were picked from the survey and were used to interview people at the Brockport Wegman’s. This was done to compare people’s answers to the survey.
Should Masks Still be Mandated?
The results from question 1 show that many people are in disagreement with the mask mandate still being active. The chart shows that around 60% more people disagree with the mask mandate being active compared to the few people that agree.
Wegmans Employee Stephan Shultz thinks that the mask mandate should stay lifted
“I don’t really care about wearing masks or not. The only people who should be wearing masks are people with bad hygiene,” said Shultz.
SUNY Brockport Student Maddy Fitzgerald also thinks that the mask mandate should stay lifted because the number of people that got their vaccines.
“I think the mandate should stay lifted, we’re far enough now that the majority is vaccinated and boosted,” said Fitzgerald
People from the survey and from the interviews don’t really mind the lifting of the mask mandate.
Although, there are many people in the Brockport community are still wearing masks. There may be many reasons for that.
Do you feel safer when you wear a mask?
In question 5, people were asked if “wearing masks makes you safer from illness”. This reason could be correlated to why a lot of people still wear masks.
Stephan Shultz thinks that the mask mandate should stay lifted, but he’s also one of those people that think masks make him safer from illness.
“Masks make me feel safer from any illness, even before Covid. I think it’s a good strategy for people to not get sick, but I don’t mind regardless,” said Shultz.
Maddy Fitzgerald thinks there is a time and place where masks can be appropriate.
“To an extent, I think in a large crowd of people I would feel safer, but with my friends and people I know are vaccinated, I don’t think it makes too much of a difference,” said Fitzgerald
Jackson Hughes, a SUNY Brockport student thinks that wearing a mask doesn’t really make a difference with immunity, and only wears it to make others comfortable.
“I don’t necessarily feel safer from illness, I usually only wear masks around people because of their preferences and don’t want to make them unconformable”.
Is there another factor?
Stephan Shultz mentioned another factor that could be a possibility to why people still wear masks.
“I think people still wear masks because they’ve gotten so used to the lifestyle. We all had to do it for two years straight, I practically felt naked when I was able to have mine off,” said Shultz.
Wearing masks have become a norm in society because of the pandemic. Some people may still like the fact that they could wear a mask because they’ve gotten so used to it.
Should people have the freedom to choose?
Based on the results question 4 and 5, most people that still wear masks are doing so mainly by choice, and also think that everyone should still have the choice to do so.
Keegan Smith, a Wegmans Employee is one of those people. He thinks that everyone should have a choice.
“I definitely think people should still have the choice, I don’t see anything wrong with people wearing masks either,” said Smith.
Jackson Hughes also thinks that people have the freedom to choose, regardless of vaccination.
“I think that you should have the freedom to choose, and even at this point I don’t even care if the person is vaccinated or not,” said Hughes
People who wear masks don’t want to infringe other people’s choices on whether or not they can do something. With the mask mandate being lifted, everyone now has the option whether or not to wear one.
Based on the survey and interviews conducted, there are multiple factors on why people make their decision to wear masks or not.
Some of those factors could be that people feel safer with them on, some people don’t care, and some people wear them due to the fear of making others uncomfortable.
Mask on…. or mask off? That’s up to you.