Plan for lifting mask mandate announced | October 8, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 8, 2021

Plan for lifting mask mandate announced

Organizations will be able to set independent masking requirements

by Sue Dremann

Eight Bay Area counties will lift the indoor mask mandates after a series of criteria are met, they announced on Oct. 7.

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and the city of Berkeley reached a consensus on criteria to lift health orders requiring the masks and to allow organizations to set requirements independently.

They will lift the indoor masking requirement in public spaces that are not subject to state and federal masking rules when all the following occur:

? The jurisdiction reaches the moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and remains there for at least three weeks; and

? COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable, in the judgment of the health officer; and

? 80% of the jurisdiction's total population is fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson (booster doses not considered)

Alternatively, they could also lift the masking mandate if eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Currently, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties are all in the CDC's orange, or "substantial," tier, according to the CDC's County Check tool.

Most Bay Area health departments issued the masking requirements for their respective jurisdictions on Aug. 3, following a summer surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

But with regional data showing that the surge is now receding, and with the Bay Area one of the most vaccinated regions in the country, Bay Area health officers agreed it is time to plan for a transition.

Lifting a local indoor mask mandate would not prevent businesses, nonprofits, churches or others with public indoor spaces from imposing their own requirements, however. COVID-19 easily spreads through airborne droplets, and face coverings remain highly powerful in preventing its spread, San Mateo County's public health department noted.

"Each jurisdiction will rescind its order when criteria are met in that jurisdiction. The criteria were developed to assist in determining the safest time to lift the indoor masking orders, based on regional scientific and medical consensus. The criteria also provide safety for school children, ages 5-11, who need the added protection of masks in the community to keep case rates low so they can remain in school until they can be vaccinated," the San Mateo County announcement said.

"As a safety measure, along with vaccination, face coverings have been key to our success in the Bay Area in reducing transmission and protecting public health. As we look toward lifting the mandate, it's vital for everyone who has not gotten vaccinated to consider getting vaccinated right away," Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County health officer, said.

People who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must continue to wear masks in businesses and indoor public spaces, in accordance with state health guidance.

The state also requires face coverings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in health care facilities, public transit and adult and senior care facilities. California's masking guidelines in K-12 schools would also not be affected by changes to local health orders.

The county health officers have to decide on metrics for reimposing indoor mask requirements should that become necessary, Santa Clara County Health Officer Sara Cody said during a Thursday morning press conference. They are jointly keeping an eye out for emerging new variants and assessing how the vaccines do over time with new variants, she said.

Santa Clara County remains on the CDC's orange tier but the number of new infections is trending down. The county currently has 72.4% of its total population fully vaccinated, though 84.2% of those 12 and older have been fully inoculated. The county has just shy of 175,000 children ages 5 to 11 who would be eligible for the vaccine once it is approved for that age group. Cody said the county will diligently pursue getting those children vaccinated.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee is scheduled to consider an application from Pfizer-BioNTech to grant emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds on Oct. 26.

Cody said she has "enormous gratitude" to the public in Santa Clara County and in the region for following the COVID-19 protocols. Because of that, the region has gotten to the point of being able to potentially lift the mask mandates.

The fourth infection surge, which was fueled by the more communicable delta variant, was relatively blunted compared to other parts of the state and the country because residents have largely heeded the five ways to lower transmission: testing, vaccinations, masking, ventilation and social distancing, she said.

The public can track together with health departments how each county is doing by following on the CDC site and looking at the counties' COVID-19 websites.

Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]

Comments

Posted by Mallory Duncan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2021 at 10:35 am

Mallory Duncan is a registered user.

It's too early to get overly confident about any ebb in the coronavirus.

Fall season is approaching and there will undoubtedly be new COVID variants to deal with.

Perhaps it's best to maintain partial masking requirements until efficacy of the 3rd booster shot is fully established or when the coronavirus is confirmed as an 'endemic.'

Wearing a face mask is no big deal & by now most people should have gotten used to it.


Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 7, 2021 at 10:53 am

Aletheia is a registered user.

So do we meet the criteria or not? Can please lose these ridiculous (and utterly useless) masks?


Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 7, 2021 at 11:06 am

merry is a registered user.

So, there is a plan for a plan. Where are we on that ?


Posted by Local
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 7, 2021 at 11:23 am

Local is a registered user.

This is great - masking is hugely disruptive, and while I agree the costs are worth the benefits during the pandemic, once we are vaccinated and infections down glad to get rid of this. You can't smile and interact with people, talking is muffled so it's hard to hear, and my glasses endlessly steam up.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2021 at 11:26 am

Bystander is a registered user.

This really sounds like delay tactics to me. No real plan, since we are still not able to vaccinate the 5 -12 year olds and we have no idea if 80% of them will be vaccinated. In other countries, they are vaccinating teens but saying that under 12 year olds should not be vaccinated. We might end up that way here, we just do not know. Anyone know what percentage of the population are under age 5, since that group will not be eligible?

So until 80% of under 12s (and that doesn't even take into account the under 5s) we will have to continue looking like bank robbers as we go about our daily business regardless of whether there are any under 12 year olds in the building. The cliche, "Elvis has left the building" should change to "there are no children in the building" just might seem appropriate here.


Posted by Observer
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 7, 2021 at 11:33 am

Observer is a registered user.

Masks are a very minor burden in the broader scheme of things. They DO work -- not perfectly, but they significantly reduce the risk of transmission. Many other things we do are much more onerous. Get over it!! Look in people's eyes if you want to see their smiles! If you are vaccinated, wear them until they are clearly not needed as a public health measure. If you remain unvaccinated and COVID is still sickening and killing people, wear them on a continuing basis so that you don't get infected and infect others.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 11:57 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Julian Guiterrez
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Julian Guiterrez is a registered user.

The fully vaccinated who are adamantly against wearing face masks in pubic will most likely be the 'breakthrough' victims of the coronavirus.

The Covid-19 vaccinations do not make one a Superman against future mutations and variants of the coronavirus.

Besides, there are a lot of reckless and irresponsible unvaxed/maskless individuals roaming the streets...especially where 'red-heads' dominate the population.

If viral containment via inoculations and face masks is unacceptable to these close-minded individuals, then an endemic is the final solution...after these people have all died off.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

So, if I am understanding you correctly, you theorize that the most fearful, conservative, and conformist individuals are the most evolved and if you are not exceedingly fearful, conservative, and conformist, you are a close-minded person on death's door. That, Mr. G, is ridiculous. Just so everyone understands, Mr. G appears to be advocating wearing a mask OUTDOORS as well, which is way beyond the demands of the yellow tier we are currently in. No yellow area is curently making everyone wear a mask outdoors.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

For those who say, no big deal to wearing masks. Try lipreading because you are deaf. Try recognizing a thief dressed in black wearing a mask. Try doing a marathon while wearing a mask. Try doing a workout wearing a mask. From getting a short hair cut, changing clothes in a locker room, talking to someone on the phone (who is also wearing a mask the other end), to talking to a bank teller or post office clerk who is behind a screen, to someone who is hard of hearing or speaking English as a second language, all these things are much harder when wearing masks.

I don't care who you are, but I do like to see a smile. Other countries and other states are getting rid of mask mandates. Santa Cruz county has done so. Even Mayor London Breed dances in night clubs without wearing a mask.

This antisocial mandate is completely unnecessary with such high vaccination population, particularly when we are not around children.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 1:45 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Exactly, thanks, Mr. B. Why can't our directives be based on NEW conditions not just what made us feel good about ourselves a year ago? I really believe that some of the people who post the conservative fearful stuff about 'what's so hard about wearing a mask forever?' will turn on the TV in a few days, and be shocked that most people watching the Giants v. Dodgers in the playoffs won't be wearing a mask.

I just need to ask these people: when will be enough for you? I've heard some self-back-patting people respond, 'as long as there are deaths...' But really, isn't that an argument for banning driving of cars? You're not for that, are you?


Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 7, 2021 at 1:46 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

There is too much thoughtless talk about eliminating mandates. This encourages people to concentrate on the wrong thing.

Example: I keep seeing images of people in places where they are supposed to be wearing masks. People either don't have masks at all, or have uncovered their nose and mouth.

I am staying masked, distanced, and largely at home until things are markedly better.

The cornerstone of safety is vaccination.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 1:48 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Staying at home! that's what was posted. and some people believe the media doesn't fear-monger...


Posted by Leland J.
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 7, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Leland J. is a registered user.

Dr. Cody Strikes Again! After months of stonewalling, let's set a standard that is nearly impossible to reach - and has a tenuous connection (at best) to what is actually happening in our hospitals, schools, and public places.

But now she can say: "We have a plan!"

Let's be honest here. We are never going to have reasonable, fair restrictions that incentivize and reward good behavior until we end the "State of Emergency" and take absolute power out of the hands of unelected officials who have never held a day job in their lives. Good luck with that.


Posted by Ozymandias
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2021 at 4:02 pm

Ozymandias is a registered user.

Who is tracking whether wearing masks correlates to fewer infections? Comparing masked populations to unmasked populations seems like a reasonable comparison. Isn't that what 'science' is supposed to do?


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2021 at 4:28 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Interesting to see that San Francisco is eliminating their face mandate October 15.

Interesting because San Francisco is very dependent on tourism and equally dependent on conventions and trade shows. They do not want tourists to choose to go elsewhere or even worse conventions choosing to go elsewhere. These two factors are something that will affect their economy. It has little to do with their residential population. Much more to do with their ability to collect tax dollars from visitors to the City.

I suspect the same could be said for Santa Cruz.


Posted by Alice Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 7, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Alice Smith is a registered user.

I think this seems idiotic: we know that this virus mutates and is virulent. Masks should be mandatory for all indoor activities. Think how many colds you have not had since the mask mandate. Children and right-wingers are clogging our hospitals. Let’s be responsible and stay masked. Pity the health workers. Please: let’s be sensible.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

If you're tried of playing by the rules have the guts to roll the dice and do what you want. Prior to vaccinations, he/she will say something to you. In a highly vaccinated county, you'll probably be left alone. I see it every day. Nothing is said to someone not wearing a mask nor is every business checking for vaccine mandates. We all want to return to normal and most of us are sick of government overreach.

I haven't lost my sense of humor. If I'm ever in prison, I'll have some experience...


Posted by Leland J.
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 7, 2021 at 5:33 pm

Leland J. is a registered user.

Alice:

Our hospitals are definitely NOT crowded; that's what happens in a highly vaccinated population. Shouldn't our local rules should be based on actual facts here, in our area, instead of FLorida or Alabama or wherever?

And while it's admirable that you don't want people to catch colds, the rest of us are grown ups and would like to make that decision for ourselves.

BTW you are free to wear your mask and stay home forever; I just want our officials to stop punishing people for doing the right things.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 7:04 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Leland J for saying that.

How about some of you try to catch up with Joe Biden at least? Even he 'gets it' now: more vax mandates means more people get vaxxed =the more freedoms we can have.

v.

the fully vaxxed, but the most fearful-Debbie Downer mask-wearing stalwarts you know, wanting to wear masks forever even if it's just to stop colds...

Which group will impress the non-vax hold-outs to vax? The anti-vax people are going to think--with reason, that the fully vaxxed who want masks forever, sure must not think the vax is really very effective down deep.


Posted by Leland J.
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 7, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Leland J. is a registered user.

Let me put it another way: the goal should be to manage and control Covid. Period. In a free society like ours, eradication has always been a folly. Even New Zealand, the most isolated and sparsely populated country in the world, with the strictest protocols, has been unable to eradicate Covid.

So, if local deaths and hospitalizations are low, as is the present situation, then the reasonable reaction should be to ease restrictions and let people live their lives. That's management.

Yet somehow our health officials have transformed the goal into a cultural agenda to train people to wear masks and suppress colds. This is every bit as disingenuous and misguided as those who refuse to take the vaccine.

"Trust the science"... unless it conflicts with my political agenda.


Posted by fred
a resident of University South
on Oct 7, 2021 at 10:44 pm

fred is a registered user.

Bystander,

The SF Mask mandate is only being relaxed in settings where 100% of people are proven to be vaccinated. It does not apply to any bars or restaurants.


Posted by L
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 8, 2021 at 8:46 am

L is a registered user.

Bars and restaurants in SF require proof of vaccination. I think relaxing the mask requirement in SF is in environments with stable cohorts of people.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2021 at 10:03 am

Bystander is a registered user.

The question has to be asked as to who is monitoring these mandates? The average WalMart greeter did not sign up to be mask police, neither did the 16 year old server working after school at MacDonalds, or Whole Foods.

Turning employees into mask police isn't fair on them. Even worse if they have to also eventually become proof of vaccination police. What can they realistically do to someone who refuses to wear a mask? I suspect there won't be many, but can an employee be expected to refuse entry to someone determined to enter just like can they stop someone from shoplifting?


Posted by Bob
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Oct 8, 2021 at 11:52 am

Bob is a registered user.

Some actual data to consider, from the County (Web Link

Since March 2020 (18 months ago):

Number of persons testing positive for the virus: 142,662
Number of deaths attributed to the virus: 1,807

Approximate county population: 1,933,000

% of county population testing positive over 18 months: 7.4%
% dead from the virus over 18 months: 0.1%


Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Alice Smith - Really? I am very conservative. I am fully vaccinated. I encourage others to be fully vaccinated. Let's be clear that there are very different discussions about the efficacy of vaccines/masks and encouraging vaccination versus an absolute mandate for vaccinations/masks for everyone.

Even now, many countries will not allow children to be vaccinated. Have you asked or pondered the reasons why? This requires the inquiring minds to avoid getting their "science" from Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, late night comedians or even Yahoo or Politico.

Real science WELCOMES intelligent scrutiny. It also welcomes "dumb" questions from non-scientists too. After all, most people's science forte is limited to a handful of science classes in high school and college.

When it comes to such mandates, most simply want to know one thing: DO THEY WORK?

Our question cannot (or should not) be answered by mere journalists, pundits, late-night comedians or celebrities. Rather, we simply need someone to point us to the proper peer-reviewed studies and conclusions.

I think that the anti-vaxxers (and many live here in the Bay Area) might be less coerced by wild conspiracy theories or angry hysteria if local/state/federal officials and medical authorities simply and clearly explained the findings of peer-reviewed studies regarding vaccinations.

That said: As much as I support widespread vaccinations, there are legitimate questions about COVID vaccines -- particularly when it comes to long-term efficacy or how children's bodies will respond to them in the long-term.

I understand those questions that some people have. I also understand why some might be hesitant to get inoculated if they have lingering doubts because no one has sufficiently answered their questions or pointed them in the right direction for answers.

The same can be said of the mask mandates. Why/How are they effective? We don't need op-ed from celebrities, comedians or non-scientists.

Simply show the DATA.


Posted by Jess Phillips
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Jess Phillips is a registered user.

Human nature is what it is. The world is is filled with those who believe in one school of thought or another and barring an epiphany, nothing is going to change.

The coronavirus has become a political issue with both vaxers & anti-vaxers clinging to their inherent beliefs.

That said, why not let Covid-19 run it course like the 1918 Spanish Flu.

As Journey sang decades ago...

"Some will win and some will lose and some of us just sing the blues."

The coronavirus will become an endemic only after X numbers have been fully vaccinated while X amount of the non-vaxed have perished.

And why should we have any empathy for those who die due to their inherent ignorance, stubbornness, and anti-vax sentiments?


Posted by Fr0hickey
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm

Fr0hickey is a registered user.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland have all halted the use of ModeRNA vaccine on young adults and teens because of increased risk of myocarditis.

Perhaps we are going to have to racially profile the use of the vaccinations. Maybe people with Scandinavian ancestry are susceptible to heart inflammation with the COVID vaccines.


Posted by Fr0hickey
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Fr0hickey is a registered user.

@Jess Phillips
Everyone should have empathy to those less fortunate. That is what separates us from livestock.


Posted by fred
a resident of University South
on Oct 8, 2021 at 4:44 pm

fred is a registered user.

Jess,

With vaccinations so effective, the way out is to mandate them.

It is appalling that you would place the selfishness of anti-vaxxers above the lives of vaccinated who are still somewhat susceptible to Covid transmitted by the unvaccinated.

The anti-vaxxers are causing more mutations and more deaths among themselves and others.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2021 at 8:14 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Exactly-right said, Fred !

There is a difference between a self-serving and largely meaningless but self-righteous pose and doing something that would really address the problem. Making the fully vaxxed wear a mask forever is the former, making everyone get vaxxed is the latter.

Just heard something on the news about Los Angeles county wanting to do the latter, but justifying it by appeasing the former tribe too. SO we all sacrifice for no reward. Does this make sense? The explanation was: 'because you can still transmit the virus even if fully vaxxed, you must still wear a mask'. Really? but you had to be fully vaxxed to enter; is transmission from one fully vaxxed person to another fully vaxxed person say between bites of pasta at a restaurant, really such a scary thing? what kind of numbers are we talking? Thank you: Santa Cruz County, and soon to be Marin County and San Francisco county for being more thoughtful than LA. Why not Santa Clara County next?


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2021 at 8:34 am

Bystander is a registered user.

The reason behind the vaccine fast rollout was always supposed to enable us to get our lives back.

The reason we have a mask mandate in an area with such a high vaccine rate and such a low Covid rate is simply because they can mandate it. When unelected officials have so much power they can control the population is wrong at so many levels.

I have no problem wearing a mask and I am fully vaccinated. What I do have problems with is government oversight particularly by non-elected officials telling me what I must do.

I also have problems with employees of any business who now have to police this issue. It is unfair for these people to demand to see proof of vaccination or to demand compliance to mask mandate. These employees should not be put in a position where this is part of their job.


Posted by Calvin Samuels
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2021 at 8:42 am

Calvin Samuels is a registered user.

Barring breakthrough infections, aren’t the fully vaccinated protecting not only themselves but also the ignorant and fearful who refuse to get vaccinated?

If so, then only the unvaccinated should be required to wear face masks as they are the ones spreading the coronavirus.

And as far as any empathy goes towards the terminally unvaxed, perhaps they should remind themselves of how all of this could have been avoided (or pre-empted) as many have confessed on their deathbeds.

In some states, the unvaxed are placing an ongoing strain on the health care system and this in turn will result in more ICU overloads and higher health insurance premiums for everyone else, like the lousy and/or habitually drunk drivers who push up our auto insurance rates.

These types of irresponsible individuals can pay the piper out of their own pockets and better yet, sequester them among their own kind.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2021 at 9:06 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I have no problem with paying auto insurance to guarantee my responsibility to others. Certainly, I may not like to pay taxes, but it would be ridiculous to say it is against my civil rights for government to tax me. Vax mandates are the same, unless you truly prefer to 'live off the grid' like those kind of paranoid shows...

and just reminding that the FDA approved the vax. Essentially that means, vax-fearers, that should something happen to you because you took these shots, you can sue so big your kids will be set for life.

There is a much worse disease than Covid. I think the technical term is
basement-navelselfgazius. It is anti-tourism, anti-travel, even anti-community, and in the most serious cases, can lead to xenophobia and fascism.


Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 10, 2021 at 10:20 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

A number of posters have asked about the scientific evidence that masking reduces transmission of COVID-19. Researchers at Stanford and Yale recently released results of their study with the description:

"They found that a four-part intervention (the “NORM model”) tripled mask usage (a 29- percentage-point increase), and increased physical distancing by 5 percentage points. Further, this increase in mask-wearing reduced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. When surgical masks were employed, 1 in 3 symptomatic infections were avoided for individuals 60+ years old, the age group that faces the highest risk of death following infection. This was the first large-scale randomized evaluation to demonstrate the effectiveness of masks in a real-world setting. "

Info and links to the paper can be found here:
Web Link


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2021 at 8:00 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Nice try. But I requested the numbers of cases in which a fully vaxxed person transmitted the virus to another full-vaxxed person. Such, for example, while you are inside a restaurant, and as your mouth opens and closes for pasta and beverage, you are sitting next to the family or friends with whom you are around mask-less all the dang time. or, as you walk around a grocery store, and this is California remember, so you are respecting the privacy of others and not making eye contact or speaking to them anyway...


Posted by Mirriam Decker
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 11, 2021 at 8:20 am

Mirriam Decker is a registered user.

Probably best to go back to wearing a face mask as one’s COVID-19 immunity gradually wears down 4-6 months following the second vaccination and prior to receiving a 3rd recommended booster.

There are a lot of unvaxed individuals refusing to wear a face mask and they are the prime transmitters and recipients of the coronavirus.

Proof of vaccinations should still be required at large public gatherings and The Department of Transportation should make them mandatory for anyone boarding a muni bus, commuter train, cruise ship or commercial passenger plane.

Face masks should also be required in any environment that uses recycled air (i.e jetliners and buildings with AC).


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2021 at 9:19 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Expecting staff to demand mask wearing, expecting staff to demand to see proof of vaccine and id, has to be outside the job description of workers at any commercial venue. Whether it is a small family run business, to a large sporting event, these are now being asked by individuals who have no training and no security in case there are problems. Retail workers are already expected to let shoplifters take what they want. Are these employees stationed at entrances given any real training or protection for the job?


Posted by Lyle Latimer
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2021 at 10:06 am

Lyle Latimer is a registered user.

Some people (primarily males) walk around shirtless/topless and barefoot which is their right.

On the other hand, business establishments (i.e. restaurants) reserve the right not to serve them.

The same practice could and should be applied to vaccinations.

If unvaxed, no service or entrance period. New York & SF have already mandated these public health guidelines.

This measure should pacify those who are already fully vaccinated but either refuse or are reluctant to wear a face mask at large public gatherings.

Simply punish and chastise the unvaxed by restricting their access and options.


Posted by Ray Fiers
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 11, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Ray Fiers is a registered user.

I have no issue or problem either restricting or excluding the unvaxed from everyday American life.

They are the ones acting irresponsibly and prolonging any large scale immunitities to the coronavirus which is still raging via its variants and mutations.

Like some others have mentioned, I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for the stubbornly unvaxed who perish from this dreadful disease.

They had a choice and an opportunity to avoid serious hospitalizations and instead thumbed their noses at the opportunity to get two simple shots.

As for the continued wearing of face masks, this remains an individual choice based upon where one circulates along an assessment of the people congregating at those gatherings.

Common sense is not scientific.




Posted by Virginia Smedberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2021 at 3:11 am

Virginia Smedberg is a registered user.

Here's my 2 cents' worth: since any one of us, vaxed or not, CAN be a silent carrier, I intend to continue masking anywhere I'm around bunches of people indoors (or tight crowds outdoors, like at Frost Amph) - just as a courtesy to my fellow humans.


Posted by Herb Goodman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2021 at 8:13 am

Herb Goodman is a registered user.

The bottom line...this pandemic is far from over and further vigilance is still needed whether it involves receiving a #3 booster shot, the continued wearing of face masks in public, or avoiding large crowds of people many of whom are still unvaccinated.

Correct me on the percentages (if necessary) but it is my understanding that roughly 54% of the American population is fully vaxed, with 77% having received at least one vaccination against Covid-19.

This leaves approximately 25% of 360 million people nationwide who remain unvaccinated.

What are these 90 million people waiting for...some sort of miracle?


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2021 at 9:27 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Unfortunately, there are those extremists from both colored blue and red tribes who act like they are preparing for actual war. So, instead of pointing out the similarities, such as Donald Trump is fully vaxxed, Gregg Abbott is fully vaxxed, and Ron DeSantos is fully vaxxed, they emphasize the opposite differences to show what side they are on. For my blue team, that means, wearing a mask forever willingly to show what 'better more courteous people' than the evil enemy tribe/team.


But the vaxxes work. That's why you will see so many people at stadiums even in California, such as the Giants hosting the Dodgers again soon, not wearing masks. Because the vaxxes work.


Posted by Raul Montez
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 13, 2021 at 10:58 am

Raul Montez is a registered user.

Wearing a face mask regardless of being fully vaccinated is not that big of a deal and the issue has become far too political.

Red or blue, we are being governed by hypocrites of both parties and nothing is going to change unless we reach an endemic stage.

Endemic Stage = the fully vaxed and fully recovered Covid-19 patients (survivors) combined with the unvaxed (now dying or deceased).

It is a war of attrition along with natural selection and a little help from modern science.

Like the 1918 Spanish Flu, once the less resilient are gone, most of us are home free until the next global pandemic.

Which is why and despite WHO objections, the current stock of 3rd booster shots should be reserved exclusively for American citizens rather than diverted towards those residing in underdeveloped 3rd world countries where mortality rates from just about any ailment are naturally higher anyway.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2021 at 11:36 am

Bystander is a registered user.

I tend to think that wearing masks everywhere is a big deal, or at least bigger than the left seem to think. Have you seen how many masks are dropped in parking lots, on sidewalks, outside schools, in parks and on hiking trails? I would suggest that there are large numbers of masks filling creeks, baylands and other places where litter accumulates. This is not due to bad disposal but due to the fact that they fall out of pockets, backpacks, and are blown away when it is windy.

Many people are wearing the same mask for days, perhaps weeks on end, without changing or laundering them. They are put on inside out, placed on restaurant tables, stuffed into shopping bags with items such as meat, hung on restroom locks, etc. etc. Most are not clean enough to be thought of as sterile or even germ free. People remove these germy masks with hands that are now touching their fries which are shared with friends.

Masks do cause eye glasses to steam and now the weather is often cooler early morning and later in the evening those who manage not too badly in warm weather are finding it a bigger problem as entering a store they steam up almost immediately due to the change in temperature.

Simple tasks such as getting haircuts, removing or adding a sweatshirt, taking some sips of water are all much more difficult wearing a mask.

And people hiding behind masks are less friendly. Yes we can wave a greeting or mumble hi through a mask, but nothing beats a friendly, welcoming smile. Eye contact can perhaps suggest a smile, but that does mean getting closer than social distancing protocols require.

Masking may or may not make sense to the majority of us. However, wearing them for ever is just not sociable.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:15 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Back to the original topic, this change and anticipating more changes is appropriate due to the success of vaxxing. All the wear your mask forever people, if fully vaxxed, are telling the anti-vax hold-outs that you don't think the vax really works very well. Now, it's your right, go ahead, I am just quibbling that you believe it is noble of you to do so (instead of counter productive).

If you are still anti-vax after all this time, I would further like to suggest, your real role model is not Trump, or Abbott, etc., but (flat-earther)
Kyrie Irving.


Posted by Madison Barkley
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Madison Barkley is a registered user.

* Have you seen how many masks are dropped in parking lots, on sidewalks, outside schools, in parks and on hiking trails?

No different than any other kinds of litter including disposable containers, discarded beer cans, cigarette butts, fast-food wrappers etc.

Perhaps it's best not to confuse everyday ubiquitous litter with a few random face masks that happen to be lying about.


* And people hiding behind masks are less friendly.

This is unproven as some people (regardless of wearing a face mask) are more (or less) cordial than others. It's more attributable to one's overall personality.


* ...wearing them for ever is just not sociable.

We are getting less sociable as a society on the whole so in the interest of public health, wearing a face mask during a time of an unresolved pandemic makes sense.

Would you rather receive a fake smile at the risk of someone transmitting a viral infection? Not me.

You are simply arguing for the sake of personal conveniences.


Posted by Jane
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2021 at 8:03 pm

Jane is a registered user.

@Ray Fiers your stance toward the "unvaxxed" is inhumane, selfish, and authoritarian. Wishing disease or death on those who disagree with you is simply evil.

I'm immunized (v. c19 and everything else, no doubt more so than mr. fiers), but I maintain we need to continue to fight back against the kind of inhumane totalitarian stance he represents.


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