In the aftermath of most mask-wearing recommendations being lifted by US health officials, Chloe, even fully vaccinated, still wears a black mask on the streets of Washington.
“I think the announcement (…) was clearly a shock for a lot of people,” this student, who did not wish to give her last name, told AFP on Friday.
Chloe, 20, has lived the announcement of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the country’s main federal public health agency, as a “bearer of hope,” but she plans to continue to carry the hides a little while longer.
“If I see more people not wearing masks, it will make me more comfortable not to wear them,” she says.
“And then seeing the number of people who are vaccinated in the United States is bound to help me. If the number goes up, I might be more comfortable withdrawing it. ”
But according to Chloe, “it’s really important to admit that the pandemic is still here.”
Currently, only 36% of Americans are fully immunized, while COVID-19 has claimed more than 580,000 lives in the United States.
“Yesterday, I wasn’t really that keen on” not wearing a mask, Lauren says, a white mask covering her face.
The 36-year-old consultant, who also preferred not to give her last name, plans to keep her mask handy when she is outside, and tells AFP that she will decide whether or not to wear it depending on her feeling of the moment.
“It’s kind of become an integral part of our face. I feel almost naked without, ”says Lauren, before adding that she sometimes associates her mask with a comforting“ blanket ”.
Public health experts assure that it is normal to feel anxious at the idea of returning to a normal life, after the difficulties faced during this year of pandemic.
But those who are fully vaccinated do not need to continue to take so many precautions, explains Dr. Amesh Adalja: “Scientific research shows that if you are fully vaccinated, the virus will treat you very differently, so you can. behave very differently. “
Part of the problem, according to the researcher at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at prestigious Johns Hopkins University, is that health officials, who have been extremely cautious during the pandemic, in contrast caused shock on Thursday with news. recommendations that may be perceived as more radical.
According to Dr Adalja, “people haven’t developed the ability to calculate risks”.
“We have exercised such excessive precautionary principles that I think it will be hard for some, who have completely adopted them, to get rid of them,” he told AFP.
“What benefit do you get from the vaccine, if in reality you do not live your life to the fullest” after receiving the injections ?, asks the doctor.
Lauren, deep down, agrees with this sentiment: “I can’t wait to see people’s faces again.”
“I want to be able to smile at them,” she said.