The usual suspects are trying to make pandemic theater happen again. It’s a little too early for pre-election prep and fall season is coming, but the return of mask mandates has been slowly creeping back.
I doubt it’ll go far.
Aside from the courts dismantling mask mandates and other key areas of the pandemic security regime, most people have moved on. Long before there was an official end to mask mandates, Irish democracy had taken hold and people just weren’t masking up.
Other people have gone on wearing masks long after the mandates had lapsed.
What that means is that masks or no masks is a decision that has passed beyond the threshold of government and it became what it should have been all along… a personal choice.
I see people driving around alone in their cars with masks. And I see medical offices with a dozen signs about masking in which no one wears them and no one pays attention.
The COVID era showed that our freedoms could be taken away in a moment and that many people would comply. And as grim as that was, it was also a reaction to the unexpected and unprecedented. Since then the camps have solidified and people have decided to do what they’re going to do.
No amount of persuading is likely to stop the people who feel the need to wear masks in their cars. And the people who stopped wearing masks are not going to start again.
Much as COVID became endemic, masks became cultural.