In the United States, the debate over masks has also begun.
The United States has lifted its obligation to wear face masks indoors
Since the start of 2022, U.S. states have announced a series of bans on wearing masks indoors.
In New York, the government has lifted the requirement to wear face masks indoors, following a ban on wearing masks outdoors on Feb. 10, as the number of infections and severe cases has decreased. People are no longer obliged to wear masks in indoor places such as restaurants, public facilities, and offices.
However, the obligation to wear masks in such indoor Settings can be determined by management, and customers must continue to follow the restaurant or institution’s policy. In addition, the mandatory wearing of masks will remain in effect in medical institutions, nursing homes, subways, buses, and airports.
In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House have not previously taken a position on whether to wear masks, but the number of infected and seriously ill patients, including omicron, has recently decreased in many parts of the country. On Feb. 25, the CDC announced that people could remove masks indoors as long as the infection remained stable. Hawaii, the last U.S. state to make masks mandatory, will lift its two-year mask requirement on May 25.
So far, the no-mask obligation has been firmly enforced in Republican states, and more recently in Democratic states such as California and Hawaii. The United States as a whole has taken a big step away from the mask life.
So, can people stop wearing masks?
The United States does not rely on masks
On Feb. 13, half a month before the government made that announcement. California hosts an annual football game called the Super Bowl.
At the All-star Game and the Super Bowl, not only players but also 20,000 spectators were rarely seen wearing masks
The Super Bowl is the most popular “show” in America. It is not only the football finals but also the most-watched live television program. More than half of Americans watch the Super Bowl, which is broadcast live to every country in the world. Spectators were seen wearing no masks, leaving a strong impression that vaccination had been completed, the coronavirus had completely disappeared in the United States, and that the United States no longer relied on masks.
It may seem like the United States is fully back to its pre-pandemic routine, but is it really?
n New York City, which has the highest use of masks, people still wear them on daily trips, both outdoors and indoors. When talking to people wearing masks, they gave reasons such as “going out just in case” or “wearing a mask on the subway or in the store but forgetting to take it off.”
Some people say that because the air temperature is below freezing in winter, wearing a mask can be “cold” in the protection, while others said “since the outbreak began, (masks) is inseparable from the things, because I realize that it is a try to reduce the tool and I don’t like the people”, and some hope (masks) this approach can continue at the end of the outbreak.
Before the outbreak began, people wearing masks in the United States were perceived as “carrying the virus,” giving a negative impression and being alienated. However, the fact that some Americans continue to wear masks even after the lifting of the mandatory wearing of masks reminds us of the change in values brought about by COVID-19.
Before COVID-19, there were no face masks in the US (except at medical and construction sites). But for now, they will continue to be worn by some Democratic supporters who are concerned about their safety and suspicious of the government, as well as by those with underlying medical conditions or who are prone to serious illness. “Mask culture” is likely to continue in the United States.