Mask or no mask, that is the question.
With COVID restrictions being lifted and mask mandates relaxed, people with varying degrees of face covering comfort levels are starting to get uncomfortable.
“You can just tell by when you’re walking, people are like, 'You’re not wearing a face mask, you got the COVID.' I’m like, 'Okay,” said Zaidee Benitez of Worcester.
Nazzareth Tavarez, also of Worcester said, “We want to shame them for wearing a mask, we want to shame them for not wearing a mask, and, you know, it’s ridiculous.”
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People we spoke with Tuesday, a day after Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement that Massachusetts' COVID restrictions will be lifted on May 29, were all over the spectrum on whether they will keep wearing masks. But some are already starting to experience mask shaming, both for wanting to stay masked up and for choosing to be mask-free.
“It feels good not to wear it and it’s nice you can see people’s smile,” Michelle Floria of Clinton said.
Vishmu Menon, who’s visiting Worcester, said, “I think we need to err on the side of caution and wear a mask more often and be a bit more cautious about everything.”
While some people believe the mask mandate should have been lifted a long time ago, others think it’s still needed to keep COVID case numbers low.
“I wear a mask everywhere but it’s scary, especially with news of variants and other changes that we’re still discovering new things about it all the time,” said Anand Ramakrishman of Worcester.
Jimmy Waters, also of Worcester, said, “They could be opening up another can a worms, who knows.”
Whether wearing a mask or not, pretty much everyone we spoke with agreed we all need to be better about respecting each other’s decisions.