Record editorial: Amid changing mask advice, common sense is required in this version of the ‘new normal’
Vaccines were made available to every adult in Utah just over four months ago, a date that, for many people, couldn’t come soon enough.
Winter has since turned to summer, the mass vaccination site at Utah Film Studios has been dismantled and an impressive percentage of Summit County residents have been vaccinated.
But that progress is unfortunately not uniform across Utah or the United States. With a more-transmissible variant of the virus swirling through our communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that even fully vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public settings in most counties in the nation — including ours.
For those who were champing at the bit to be vaccinated in March, refreshing their browsers and calling different pharmacies to see which had the vaccine they preferred, the recommendation might feel like a significant step backward, evidence, perhaps, that their efforts to combat the pandemic have been in vain.
Indeed, the setback is particularly galling given that the vaccine, the key to a post-pandemic future, has been widely available in the United States for several months. The same cannot be said for most countries.
On top of the frustration people might feel about the pandemic’s resurgence and how it has been aided by those who shun the vaccine, people may also be feeling slightly confused.
What are the best practices in this version of the new normal? What are the precautions we should take? Do we have to wear masks all the time again?
Those are challenging questions to answer. For now, we can work toward a safer community by simply using common sense.
When eyeing the tomatoes at the grocery store, give a fellow customer some space before stepping in.
Wear a mask when in close quarters with others, especially inside and especially when it’s for a long period of time. Carry a mask and be prepared to use it even if you don’t think it will be necessary.
And give some grace to others who may not be operating as you see fit, remembering that many COVID susceptibilities are unapparent: the immunocompromised relative, the live-in grandparent, the unvaccinated child.
Parkites have banded together repeatedly to lessen the effects of the pandemic, and are unfortunately being called on to do so again.
With ski season and the school year on the horizon, wearing a mask in crowded, indoor places is the right thing to do.
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