After a year of donning masks everywhere, the CDC announced on Thursday that people who are full vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance indoors or outdoors. Moments after the news broke, the internet was ablaze with a series of reactions. While many were comical, some were downright concerning.
On the more extreme end of the scale, individuals took to social media to showcase themselves burning their former masks. One Washington Examiner article even ranted about the pandemic being officially over, likening the epidemic to a poisoned rat.
“Pandemic, thou art slain,” the article states.
Many mocked and criticized individuals choosing to burn their masks, arguing that pandemic is still ongoing.
“The intelligent people can’t burn our masks because the imbeciles who refuse to get the vaccine just keep spreading the virus around,” wrote one person.
“Dumb. Why not just gather and enjoy some beers? Why burn masks? Unless you want to use the smoke from the fire to signal some virtue...” wrote another.
Earlier this year, people in some cities held “Burn the Mask” rallies to protest mask mandates within certain jurisdictions. In March, 100 demonstrators burned masks outside Idaho’s Capitol in Boise, as a statement against pandemic restrictions. Footage from the rally showcased children present and participating.
During the same month, a group of fifty people participated in a mask burning rally outside the Maricopa County Health Department in Arizona. What’s even more concerning is that many states had mask mandates to begin with. Idaho, Florida, Nebraska and Tennessee were just a few of the states that didn’t have statewide mandates.
While infections, hospitalizations, and deaths might have drastically decreased since January, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Within the last three days, eight members of the New York Yankees — including seven coaches and support staffers, plus shortstop Gleyber Torres — have tested positive for coronavirus despite all of them being fully vaccinated.
The news comes on the heels of comedian Bill Maher testing positive for the virus on Thursday - despite him being fully vaccinated. The CDC had previously warned that no vaccine is 100 per cent foolproof and that “a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get Covid-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it.”
With that being said, perhaps it’s wise not to burn your mask in a sacrificial flame just yet.