Reno, NV

To Mask or Not To Mask in Reno NV That is the Question

Jenny Curtis

When Nevada abruptly lifted the requirement to wear masks,I could not really see what had changed regarding the state of COVID, Omicron, and community spread - things did not seem better overnight. And yet, here we are and masks are not required, a lot of people and kids are still not vaccinated, and hospitals are still pretty full of COVID patients.

What does this all mean?

I will say that it is nice to see faces again, to see smiles, to breathe without glass fog. But there's a bit of worry too, especially for kids. My daughter,a teen said she plans on masking forever because it is cool and I think that is a teen thing to say. But the little kids seem very done with it, and that is also understandable. Above all, what I am feeling is compassion and understanding. I get it. I get it all. I get the being done with masks and I get the being concerned about being done with masks.

It is once again a confusing time. But from the looks of it, we are done masking and I am not sure what this means for the virus or for ending the pandemic. It looks like we gave it a try - we saw the science, we noticed that vaccines and masking did help, and do help, lessen the spread but we are, as a culture, done with all of that now. I can only wonder if the virus is done with us.

In a way it feels truly libertarian. We all get to do what we want to do and see how that works out for the whole of us. But in another way it feels a bit disappointing. Yes we get our freedom to decide but again, they always want to tell us freedom isn’t free so what is the cost? More viruses? A new variant? A never ending pandemic?

From what I understand, community spread is still pretty bad. And from what I understand not many of us are vaccinated or getting boosters. I wonder if this will change as we embark on this mask free experiment - because wasn’t that supposed to be the deal? Vaccines take the place of masks eventually? And the virus is crushed by all of us getting vaccinated against it?

It has been a long and strange two years, this is the only thing any of us can say for sure. All of the advice and all of the attempts to deal with this pandemic and really, looking back, the only time it felt pretty clear and hopeful is in the beginning when we all said okay, we are staying home, shutting down, going online, writing funny TikTok songs, watching Tiger King, and just going to beat this pandemic as team USA.

I still like to think we believe in science and have some kind of government plan that is based on science but I think for the most part what we are in the midst of is a collective sigh of giving up and saying alright, we are pretty much done so let’s see what happens now.

The virus didn’t end, we did not beat it or win, but it is now for all intents and purposes, over. I would hope that people do what they can do to make things less bad for everyone - vaccinate, be pretty cool and safe about wearing masks or social distancing, or just giving space - and that we can all maybe try to pull it together if something comes at us again. But this feels like the second great resignation, not just about jobs but about resigning ourselves to having COVID19 with us for the duration.

The ultimate apathy and I have to say, I might be just as guilty as the next person because two years of trying to end this pandemic have taken a giant toll on all of us and there is very little fight left in most of us. What are your thoughts? Will you mask still, or are you done masking? Are you vaccinated? Why or why not?

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Jenny is a poet, writer, mother and teacher. She is just a girl in the world, new to town and learning to love this city - Reno, NV. She writes about all things local from food, to fun, to what you need to know to have a good day, good week, or good time in The Biggest Little City. Jenny loves books and will encourage that love of books with her book reviews. She also writes about relationships, dating, parenting, and other topics when the muse moves her. Follow her for good food, good books, and good fun especially in the Biggest Little City in the world.

Reno, NV

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