Raleigh, North Carolina – Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement that North Carolina no longer requires social distancing or masks gave reason to many people, but not everyone is comfortable with the restrictions provided.
New cases of COVID-19 have an average of about 1,300 each day, and only 36% of the total state is completely vaccinated, leaving a large percentage still unprotected.
The percentage of states aged 18 and over that are fully vaccinated is 45.9%.
About half of the state’s adults have had a shot, but many are still waiting for their second dose, and some of them are nervous about the sudden rise in restrictions.
“I love Cooper, but I don’t agree with that decision,” Clarissa Lewis said. “I think the mask’s mandate should have been maintained longer. It’s too soon. We’re by no means the flock’s immunity.”
“I’m happy with the progress, but I’m not entirely ready to take off my mask in public,” Patric Pederson said.
Concern for adults and children still waiting for their vaccine
Cooper had initially said he would lift the state mask warrant on June 1 or after two-thirds of adults across the state had at least one COVID shot. Some locals, especially those still waiting for their second vaccine, consider this to be a safer plan.
Nikeya Cox said he plans to continue wearing a mask for peace of mind.
“You never know if someone is vaccinated or not, so you just have to keep it level and protect us,” he explained. “We’ve been doing it for a year. It’s almost become a form of habit.”
Some companies have chosen to play safely and continue to need masks.
Another concern is to protect young people who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. According to Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, the percentage of children 17 years of age or younger who tested positive for the virus has increased.
Noticing protection against the flu and cold, some will wear masks indefinitely
Many locals also noticed that wearing a mask protected them from many other illnesses, with cases of flu and even the common cold that seemed much less common during the term of the mask. Some people, like Gregory Harwood, plan to continue wearing masks long after the pandemic is over.
“It’s not hard to wear a mask and I didn’t get sick once in the last year,” he said.
“I am vaccinated, so I will not take any [but I] plans to bring one during flu season, ”Shannon Heatley-Keeney said.
For so many people who are nervous to see that the requirements for social distances and masks suddenly relaxed, many others are delighted to “breathe fresh air”.
“I think I can finally go to the gym and not drown,” Joy Simmons said.
“I feel like I’m a little out of jail,” Joe Skinner said. “I’ve been vaccinated for six to eight weeks, so I feel perfectly safe.”
About 75% of the elderly are vaccinated and vaccines are more accessible to the general population.
Some grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and retail stores will continue to need masks.