“That’s hard to come to terms with,” said Gabe Kehlen, chair of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University. “I understand that people are ready to take a personal risk, but this is not a personal risk. There are many immunocompromised older people who cannot fully participate in society because others “do not want to do the right thing.”
“The country has gotten to the point where ‘I only care about myself,’” he added.
As AAA predicts more than 39 million people will travel over Memorial Day weekend, local authorities have decided not to restore masks and are instead urging people to exercise caution in hopes of reducing the rise in infections and hospitalizations.
“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, many people will be traveling, so it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself, friends, and family as much as possible from COVID-19,” said Montgomery County Executive Mark Elrich. in a statement on Thursday. He urged travelers to wear masks on public transport and indoors, and when distancing is not possible, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Last month, a federal judge struck down a federal mandate to wear masks on commercial flights, buses, ferries and subways, prompting several airlines to make face masks optional on domestic flights. By then, most of the local mandates had been abolished.
Millions to travel for Memorial Day weekend amid record gas prices
By Thursday evening, Baltimore had recorded a high level of community spread, according to federal data. Arlington County officials reminded residents of social distancing and wearing masks as the positive rate hit its highest level since January.
In the county, the average daily workload this week was about 48 people, nearly double what it was three weeks ago. Cases are also on the rise in Virginia. Robust growth in the region followed a setback from record highs associated with the omicron option.
Kelen noted that many people simply don’t wear masks indoors now when they don’t need to, and it appears that vaccinations and past infection are the most protective against serious illness. “Many people psychologically said: “I can’t live like this. If I get coronavirus, I hope everything will be fine for me, and that’s it,” he said. “Many have decided to make the same calculation.”
Kahlan said he understood that point of view…