I’ve been a nurse for over 15 years and have worked in public/community health in some capacity for 23 years. In my years as a healthcare provider I’ve worked primarily with the medically underserved, and other at-risk populations including children, the elderly, and the disabled.
These are the ones I’m most concerned about, and doing away with masking will put these vulnerable people at risk. Some of these individuals (the very young, or those unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons) have no other manner of being protected aside from isolation, if masking goes away. Most of these people have family members or housemates who work outside the home and could be exposed and being an infection home.
Further, there is emerging evidence that even mild COVID 19 infection can cause changes to the brain (reduction of gray matter and impacts to the area responsible for smell and memory). we are still learning about the long term effects of infection, and the possibility of more variants emerging is very real.
it would be wise to continue to require masking indoors, at the very least, for a while longer.
this should obviously be reassessed keeping in mind infection rates in neighbouring states, and keeping an eye on what is happening in other countries to adjust further as needed.