To mask or not to mask? That is the Roosevelt Island question…

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Should we mask or not? That’s the question now that the Centers for Disease Control relaxed guidelines. And neither New York State nor RIOC stepped up with any advice, increasing local uncertainty.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

It’s been a long year, but New York is fast reopening. The questions remain, however, over how to best protect ourselves and others. That is: To mask or not to mask.

Mask or not variables…

While relaxing face mask guidelines radically, the CDC drew a firm line between those of us fully vaccinated and those not. But who knows? There is no way of telling if the person plopping down next to you on a park bench is really vaccinated.

As it was all last year, it’s about trust.

Given that, the rest is pretty simple.

To mask or not to mask
July, 2020. @davidstone1313/Roosevelt Island Daily
  • The CDC says, if you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t need face masks in public or private, with these exceptions: You must honor local rules, plus all transportation — planes, buses, trains, etc. — are still face mask mandatory. Locally: Like the rest of New York, Roosevelt Island guidelines have not changed as of now. Stores, restaurants and offices must respect the standing face mask and social distancing rules.
Susan Rosenthal with coronavirus face mask
Before her unexpected firing, RIOC president/CEO Susan Rosenthal led the charge against the coronavirus.

Since Susan Rosenthal’s departure, last June, RIOC’s been relatively lax about promoting face masks or social distancing. It’s unrealistic expecting guidance locally now, but maybe Governor Cuomo will take action.

In their own words: “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” – The Centers for Disease Control

Facts behind the guidance

David Leonhardt in a New York Times article put it best:

First, the underlying virus that causes Covid rarely spreads outdoors. Second — and even more important — fully vaccinated people are at virtually no risk of serious disease and only a minuscule risk of spreading the virus to others.

A C.D.C. Aboutface/David Leonhardt, May 14th, 2021

And there’s an important message from the White House: “After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is very simple: Get vaccinated, or wear a mask until you do,” President Biden said.

We couldn’t have said it better.

Abide by the rules in all indoor public spaces, but get vaccinated and join the rest of us in showing off those smiling, friendly greetings again.

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