COVID-19 Deaths Explode Worldwide ... So When DO We End the Mask Mandates?

THE DOCTOR IS IN--This article isn't so much a series of answers as much as it is a series of questions.

Because many Americans aren't so much sick of any COVID-19 viral infection as they are the measures taken to stop or minimize the death toll. And many others are sick of the clamor against these measures. 

As India's infection and death tolls explode to the extent that that nation has vowed to "hang" anyone who delays the delivery of oxygen supplies 

Ditto for Brazil: the death toll is through the roof but is that due to a lack of medical supplies and expertise, and/or a lack of vaccinations, as is not seen in America, Europe, and the West? 

How is it that we're still supposed to wear masks if we're vaccinated? 

After all, what's the point in being vaccinated if the same restrictions to our daily lives aren't supposed to change one bit? 

Is the famous and/or infamous (depending on who you talk to) Dr. Fauci claiming we'll still be wearing masks in 2022 to protect against COVID-19 a measure of good caution or bad government control? 

If Trump and his supporters are supposed to be anti-vaxxers, then why did Operation Warpspeed lead to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and why did Trump criticize the FDA holdup of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for only a mere six cases of blood clots amidst the millions who've benefited from it (the vaccine has been allowed to restart distribution)? 

Is this virus being batted around simply to be used as a neverending political weapon? 

Furthermore, if the anti-vaxxer crowd are supposed run amok among right-wing crazies, then why are Black and Latino Americans, most of whom are anything BUT right-wing, the MOST likely to resist vaccination yet are also MOST likely to get sick and die from this virus? 

Isn't the hesitation for vaccination a problem throughout the nation, and a conundrum for this nation to get over the damned virus and its economic and social/mental health impacts? 

And will the new Brazilian, British, and South African COVID-19 variants, for which we'll likely need booster shots this fall, suggest that this virus's impacts will dog us forever...or at least until 2022 and beyond? 

Most importantly, is the never-ending COVID-19 caution a measure of good medical practices, or is it a form of governmental control that needs to be better balanced with opening of the economy whenever and wherever possible? 

Because this intensity and effort cannot last forever among freedom-loving Americans ... 

... Until the body bags start exploding yet again in a number in hospitals throughout the United States of America.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)