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Opinion: It's time to face the new reality on mask wearing

April 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.6%. 1 min read.

Now that we better understand the real risks of Covid, and vaccines are rolling out, might it be time to adjust our social mores, writes Jill Filipovic, and follow the science instead of our politics? The new directives could be pretty simple: mask up indoors, in a crowd or at close distance. Don't feel you have to if you're outdoors and vaccinated, or outdoors and not getting close to anyone for more than a few seconds.

(CNN)Walking around my Brooklyn neighborhood as the country comes out of a long, Covid-depressed winter, I notice nearly everyone engaging in a curious pandemic ritual: as we stroll past brownstones, we all pull our masks up as soon as we see one another coming.

Many liberals (myself included) have emphasized that wearing masks isn't just about reducing personal risk -- it's about protecting the whole community, and especially the most vulnerable in it.

It's clear that masks work, and that Covid thrives in contained spaces where people are breathing the same air.

Crowded outdoor events are also a bad idea without masks.

Right now, we're going about it in exactly the wrong way: Increasingly allowing masklessness inside, while socially enforcing mask-wearing outside.

But I'd love to reach a point where our mask-wearing norms more fully aligned with our values, and signaled that we believe in science and care about others -- that we value their mental health and overall well-being, and that we trust their ability to distinguish between high and low risk.

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