The Boston Globe received mixed reactions on Monday for publishing a piece that fretted over the “downside of ditching masks,” with many social media users fuming that some media seem determined to keep normal life at bay now that nearly 145 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and states have begun to lift prior lockdown and mask mandates.
“Masks have started to come off — and stay off,” The Boston Globe tweeted, with a link to the piece. “But the return of facial freedom might come with a resurgence in cases of the common cold and the flu.”
The Globe quotes a few infectious disease doctors who have warned of “a resurgence in cases of the common cold and the flu.”
“But as vaccination rates increase and such precautions are slowly scrapped, other viruses will start to resurge, starting with colds and other viruses later this summer, and the flu come fall and winter,” the Globe wrote.
One quoted expert, Dr. Helen Chu, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington, suggested that a solution is for schoolchildren to continue to mask up this fall, saying that she was “holding” her breath to see how children handle the upcoming flu season.
“All of us in infectious diseases are just holding our breath right now to see what happens when the flu comes back, because it is heading into an environment where children have not seen it,” she said. “For many of them, this will be their first exposure, and I’m just worried about how sick they might get once they get it.”
Some who shared the article agreed with the premise of the piece and said they’d continue to wear their masks even as more Americans become vaccinated in order to protect themselves from the cold and flu.
But plenty of other people were exhausted with the narrative that they should continue to cover their faces as the pandemic appears to be in its final stages.
“nObODy wANtS pERmAnEnT lOcKDoWn,” wrote Michael Watson, a researcher for Capital Research Center.
“Y’all really just don’t enjoy people living their lives do you? Lol,” said Merrilee Moore.
“When did the existence of the common cold and the flu becomes newsworthy???” asked Twitter user Courtney Helland.
“Almost like…we’re returning to normal,” tweeted the Conservation Coalition’s Stephen N. Perkins.
Responding to epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding’s tweet in support of the article, Doug Stafford, chief Strategist for Rand Paul for Senate/RANDPAC, argued that “people like this want you to be masked, inside and alone, children and jobs in shambles, because of abject fear of living normal lives.”
Some users were particularly affronted by the…