Nancy Jecker on the ethics of removing the mask mandate

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on
People walk into an entrance at the Space Needle under a sign that reads "Masks Required." Feb. 17. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Nancy Jecker examines the ethics of removing the mask mandate in public spaces in an opinion piece for The Seattle Times. Governor Jay Inslee has announced that the state will end its indoor mask requirement on March 12th, 2022, following the CDC guidelines. Jecker reflects on how this will expose vulnerable populations to increased risk, and how a new subvariant of Omicron, BA.2 shows evidence of being a more severe disease with the potential to spread faster than other variants.

“How long must we wait? However long it takes. Some changes should remain indefinitely, like flexible work and school schedules, good hygiene and enhanced ventilation. Others, such as masking, should come and go based on evidence and a public plan stating specific goals for imposing and relaxing mandates. The challenge is managing the transition to endemicity well, in ways that keep people safe, keep society open, and protect the most vulnerable.”

Read the entire article from The Seattle Times: “Tossing that mask puts others at risk to a persistent deadly pandemic.