Retail stores and new CDC mask updates

I was at Costco this week with relatives. That Costco had food samples all in individual bags. It was fun.

Daughter, who is an MD, told me we all need to rip off the band-aid at some point. I’m not there yet.

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Yes, for the most part, I have ripped mine off. I was just very surprised that in an area with over 60% unvaccinated, none of those folks are wearing a mask. I guess I should not be surprised though.

Birmingham, Al Costco is about 30% masked, which is a huge change from before they dropped the requirement.

They did their best, for as long as their customers could stand it, but given at least 50% of the population in the surrounding area never got into the mask thing at all makes you wonder why they bothered.

Those who don’t get vaccinated but unmask run the risk of infecting each other and small children who cannot be vaccinated yet. Maybe this is how we get herd immunity: vaccinated people + disease runs rampant in the unvaxxed.

Yes, and immune compromised people who cannot get the vaccine or who did not develop immunity. They wear masks, but need the protection from vaccinated people wearing masks.

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I assume you mean unvaccinated people? But is this necessary? The studies about both parties needing to wear masks are based on simple cloth masks. If I was immune compromised then I’d be using an N95 or at least a KN95, just as healthcare workers did with patients who weren’t wearing masks. That PPE seems easy to obtain nowadays, so isn’t it reasonable for the small number of immune compromised people to bear that burden going forward, just as they would/should have done in the past if they were particularly vulnerable to flu or other respiratory infections?

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My son and I went into a deli at noon to pick up sandwiches we’d ordered on the phone. As we stood in line, I noticed someone wearing a mask. And then another, and another… I looked around and saw a big sign that read, “MASKS REQUIRED.” Oops. Talk about feeling naked! I still had a cloth mask in my purse so I put it on. I had my son wait outside. That’s the first time that’s happened since May 24! There were even people outside wearing masks.

That’s what I’ve heard, too.

I realize mask compliance has varied by state: better in some, not so good in others. Speaking only from personal experience, the southeast US wasn’t really into it.

That might not be completely fair to say… some businesses were strict, some ignored guidance, whether local, state, or federal. Mostly they accommodated the desires of their customer demographic, in order to make a buck.

Costco, being a national chain, is a little different but I’m morally certain that a large percentage of those who went masked while there, stripped them off for the rest of their day.

Given the virus wasn’t only spreading at Costco, I’ll say again: I’m not sure why they bothered.

I feel like this whole process is an experiment in conformity psychology. I go in some stores and if the majority of folks are masked it looks like a lot of people put their masks on. If the staff and customers are not masked, people leave them off.

Our county has an extremely high rate of vaccination (like 80%+ of eligible residents) so I feel pretty safe but I would estimate that at least 50% of people are still masking everywhere.

I get frustrated in stores when I see parents with children who are obviously too young to be vexxed (like 6-8 years old) and no one is masked. I will steer clear of them.

I’ll leave y’all to discussing this among yourselves, but…

… the only people I’m holding my breath in for as I pass are those that just sneezed.

Still dodging people but I don’t care if they’re masked or whether they’ve been vaccinated. Frankly, I would prefer that the young ones aren’t and haven’t been. That they would have to suffer either because we’ve been told it might make us a little safer is kind of repugnant.

If you guess that I’m not vaccinated and have no intention of being so, you might be right.

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That is kind of repugnant.

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I find it difficult to get too worried about children and COVID, especially in an environment in which most of the adults have been vaccinated. Which is roughly where we are now in much if not most of the country.

COVID fatality risks to children are vanishingly small, less than 0.01%, even if you include the 0-4 year old set. If you are looking at kids ages 5-14, we are talking less than 0.001%. People make their own determinations of risk of course, but these levels are simply not worth worrying about in my opinion.

41586_2020_2918_Fig2_HTML

Link here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2918-0#Sec2

Also see here on the comparative risk with auto accidents: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-020-00698-1/tables/3

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Four weeks after Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan lifted the statewide mask restrictions on all persons, not just fully vaccinated, our covid numbers have improved dramatically.

Hospitalizations are down almost 70% from 680 to 212. Daily new cases has dropped almost 80% from 512 to 113. The percentage of positive tests has also declined drastically, about 65%, from 2.6% to 0.91%.

Mask usage certainly varies in different stores, even within the same town or even block. It appears the vaccine is having the intended effect of making it harder for the virus to circulate. I have always worn a mask when required but have also enjoyed not wearing one now that it’s not required. I’m fully vaxxed and done with the mask and have no problem with others not wearing it either.

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So, our area moved into the final phase yesterday. Basically fully opened, no masks for vaccinated folks unless a store requires it (or health care or school, etc…).

Other than the hairdresser, every place I’m going into still is requiring masks. I’m totally OK with that.

What I’m irritated about is that some clothing stores have yet to open their fitting rooms. What is up with that? Are others seeing that too where they live? Is it a staffing issue? I thought we debunked surface transmission months ago?

I detest having to return things so if I can’t try it on, I’m not going there.

For whatever reason, people often still have exaggerated fear of surface transmission, despite the rarity of such compared to airborne transmission.

ive wondered about that too - Not alot of dressing rooms yet here either. I’m wondering if stores have discovered a positive side to no dressing rooms: eg, people buy clothing, but dont get around to bringing things back? or . . less theft?

You also don’t need an employee monitoring them or putting back clothes that people didn’t like.

Those are interesting points.

I think closed dressing rooms is about lack of staff.

California has had strict Covid rules all along, but dressing rooms have been open in San Diego for a while now. The dressing rooms at Target had remained closed (maybe corporate wide?), and when they reopened a couple of weeks ago it was actually a news item in our main newspaper, LOL.

I agree many people can’t let go of an unreasonable fear of surface transmission, but I think there is another transmission risk with fitting rooms, which is that potentially an infected person could close the door, remove their mask, and then spend enough time in the room that their aerosols could linger in the enclosed space, perhaps infecting the next person to enter.

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