Is It Finally Over?

Caleb is a Staff Writer.

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Is it finally here? Has the C-Virus finally been done and dead? Will life be back to where it was? The news is out! The word has become clear that the mask mandate is finally being lifted! Now that we have gone through our trials of covid and poor mental health, we can finally remove our masks, breathe fully, and do more! More of what we love but they are also in-person parties, park visits, outings with friends, etc. The options are endless, once again, thanks to the uplifted mandates around the US. 

Mask mandates in Arizona were officially lifted on March 21 of last year, excluding government jobs and public transit units. This week, mask mandates are being eased for schools, public transits, and more. According to Everyday Health, “A growing number of states (most of them with democratic leaders), have started pulling back rules for masks in schools and some public places, as COVID-19 infection numbers decline.” Near the west coast areas of the states, (such as California, Oregon, and Arizona), the mask mandates are slowly being lifted as kids and teenagers go back to school. Although some areas are still uncomfortable with mask mandates, such as Hawaii and Dubai, we are still working towards a full removal of masks. For example, Ireland’s mask mandates have been mostly dropped in current regulated areas because of the stabilizing numbers in COVID-19 cases. 

At the start of the pandemic, our cases have grown and decreased frequently. Through almost two and a half years, we see that the cases have been going at a stable rate. This year, the cases have almost tripled near the beginning of the pandemic, but now since the rates have slowly stabilized, the mask mandates have become more and more elastic. For mask mandates to be terminated fully, we would have to be certain that cases are in a neutral-level state beforehand.

We have to remain cautious when these mask mandates are now lifted because at any point the worst could happen. For example, people who are not watching their actions might lead to the recovery of mask mandates. Some other things that we might have to think about are how adaptable companies, stores, and restaurants are going to be affected since they have to make their way back to their position from beforehand. Some places have been negatively impacted during the last 2 and a half years, with dine-in and other social restrictions, so going back to the way it was might be more alien now than we would have thought before. 

So during the pandemic, we have learned to keep ourselves more cautious when it comes to sickness and health, and it has been a way for us to be aware of how mental health affects the world around us. The pandemic also showed vast environmental changes due to less driving (car emissions) and other pollution brought by none other than ourselves. People in California have reported that the air was cleaner and didn’t have the same thick smell everyone was used to. Covid has had its downfalls, but it’s also had upsides. All in all, we made the best of our situation, and now it’s time for us to finally be free of masks.