To most Minnesotans, the COVID-19 pandemic has seemed like a nearly 15 month marathon since the first stay at home order was issued on March 25, 2020. For the first time in over a year, real, tangible progress is being made. In the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ruled that fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask indoors because the vaccines have proven to be extremely effective. Since the announcement, Governor Tim Walz has ended the mask mandate in Minnesota, while Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey upholds it. Yet, there has been some confusion surrounding this new protocol as businesses throughout the state have been able to decide for themselves if they require customers to shop with a mask.
The problem, however, with dropping the mask mandate, is that most businesses do not require masks, and are using the honor system when it comes to proof of vaccination. As much as I’d like to believe that every Minnesota resident will be truthful about their vaccination status, I know there are people out there so eager to jump back into normalcy before achieving immunity. This could delay a complete return to a maskless life.
Finally, good news has arrived; according to Our World in Data, nearly 40% of Americans are fully vaccinated and they are now available for everyone ages 12 and up. Furthemore, on Thursday, Blake hosted a vaccination event for members of the community looking to get their vaccines. As more people are getting vaccines to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19, it is crucial that we remain vigilant and cautious. The question remains; what does life look like during this transitional period?
To reach the end of this pandemic, it is crucial that Blake and the U.S. achieves herd immunity. Getting vaccinated and following the proper safety protocols helps everyone move one step closer to achieving a more normal existence.