Masks are a public health measure that are likely to stick around – Though vaccines approved at the end of 2020 have helped communities return to some semblance of normalcy, public health officials are recommending that some safety measures, including masks, be kept in place.
Masks are a public health measure that are likely to stick around
In the opening months of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks became a must-have accessory. Public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization urged governments to issue mask mandates to help stop the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus that claimed the lives of millions of people across the globe. Though vaccines approved at the end of 2020 have helped communities return to some semblance of normalcy, public health officials are recommending that some safety measures, including masks, be kept in place.
In February 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, indicated the possibility that mask-wearing measures will remain in place into 2022. That decision is ultimately up to local governments in many parts of the world, including the United States, and many government officials had already relaxed mask mandates by spring 2021.
The issue of masks was politicized in the early months of the pandemic, but health officials like Dr. Fauci have repeatedly noted that masks are about public health, not politics. Dr. Fauci has routinely noted that wearing masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including new coronavirus variants that could be especially dangerous.
Masks have put business owners in particularly difficult situations, forcing many to act as their own police when customers refuse to wear masks. The road has been especially difficult for business owners who have kept mask mandates in place despite operating in communities where government-mandated mask requirements have been lifted.
Certain strategies may increase the likelihood that customers are more cooperative in regard to wearing masks. For example, the popular grocery chain Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, offered free masks to anyone who wanted one in their stores. Clearly stating mask policies in bold, large lettering near story entryways is another way to keep customers informed. Such signage can reduce the likelihood of confrontations in the store. And though business owners may shudder at the thought of policing their customers, hiring additional security to support staff tasked with enforcing mask policies can help employees feel safer and may compel uncooperative customers to more quickly recognize the importance of adhering to store policies.
Masks figure to remain an important public health accessory even as millions and millions of people get vaccinated against COVID-19. Business owners may not relish enforcing their mask policies, but they can do so in ways designed to reduce the likelihood of confrontations.
Article compliments of MetroCreative CB217082
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