High School Masks
(photo via Unsplash)

BC is officially in Stage 3 of the restart plan, and now, a proverbial line in the sand has been made: whether you wear a mask or not.

A recent Victoria Buzz poll shows that the majority of our readers will continue to wear them.

Following the Step 3 announcement., both of our polls on Twitter and Instagram asked our followers for their opinion on whether they’d be comfortable “ditching the mask.”

With 440 responding on Twitter, 63 per cent answered that they would not yet be comfortable going maskless.

21 per cent of respondents said they would be okay ditching the mask, and 16 per cent were undecided on the matter.

On Instagram, the results were similar; 66 per cent of followers said they would prefer to keep the mask, and 34 per cent responded that they would not continue to wear it.

Post-pandemic anxiety in a pandemic world

With the line drawn, Step 3 commencing, and in its wake, the hashtag #CovidisOver trending online, it appears a large minority are “over” the pandemic.

While most businesses, artists, and event-lovers are basking in this new freedom, there’s still a lot of anxiety, and to much avail, there are still restrictions. 

Step 4, which brings BC into a more “normal” phase pre-COVID is meant to begin on September 7th, two months from now.

And for good reason.

Only 38% of BC residents are fully-immunized individuals, and kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated either, leaving a large chunk of people susceptible to COVID-19 until there is a safe and effective vaccine for them.

Meanwhile concerns over the delta variant, which is only 33 percent effective after one dose, and new variants of concern, like the Lambda variant, remain.

While BC health officials have maintained the position that COVID-19 numbers will stay afoot in the next year, just not in a socially-debilitating way, this has fallen on deaf ears, so to speak, and caused a large minority to declare the pandemic over; after all, numbers are decreasing.

So why are the majority of Victoria Buzz readers still wearing masks?

Why?

For the amount of time it took us to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic world, it will also take us to adjust back to “normal.”

Social conditioning has taught us, over the past year, that everyone outside of our immediate circle, whether a stranger or a close family member, is a potential danger to us.

Humans are creatures of habit, and with the hard work of the past year, that conditioning strengthened to get us where we are now, and it’s hard to shake that.

So while BC health officials announced that it’s fine for fully vaccinated individuals to go mask-free both outside and indoors, there’s still many questions around how, or if, unvaccinated individuals will be differentiated.

Questions remain on our future with COVID-19, but summer has already begun, and who knows where we’ll be by winter.

What’s your take?

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