It seemed pretty clear last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a press release announcing that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance — whether indoors or outdoors, in most circumstances.
“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said during her weekly media briefing on May 13. “Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated.”
However, in the real world, from where I see it, half of Americans will have to slow-walk this news. It feels like we are in a state of confusion. I began to think about the day I walked into Panera Bread to order some breakfast, forgot to put my mask on because I was fully vaccinated, and the bakery clerk said, “Ma’am, you must wear a mask for service!” I had let my guard down and was beginning to feel like my old self again — I was fully vaccinated, and my two-week waiting period was over.
Here is where the “state of confusion” comes in. None of us have the mark of our vaccination written on our forehead; therefore, who knows for sure who has been vaccinated or who has not?
After hearing the news last week, personally, I felt excited, ready to do just as the press release said — throw all of my masks in the trash and live life just as I did before the pandemic. That doesn’t seem to work. It appears that we will have to slow-walk this mask business, just like we did when we were finally convinced to start to wear masks.
First lady Jill Biden was speaking for millions of women when she said she went shopping to find a pink mask to match her outfit. I have black masks with orange bling to match my orange suede designer heels; I have black masks with my radio show logo! Just as we all finally began to settle into the idea of mask-wearing, now they tell us we can take them off. Eventually, our brain goes along with whatever we tell it over and over! Now, we must begin to tell ourselves, it’s time to get back to normal.
The confusion didn’t stop there. During my Zoom sorority conference last weekend, a couple sorority sisters were wearing masks, after the big announcement. During several telephone conversations, friend after friend told me they are planning to continue to wear their masks, and one was a pastor. My chapter members said they are not ready for face-to-face meetings just yet. They’re worried the person next to them may not be vaccinated.
Waiting to see if there may possibly be another major outbreak of COVID-19, yet again, is real. They are afraid they may get caught up and suddenly find themselves sick unto death. We have been told that once we get the vaccine, we are considered safe, so why are there so many naysayers?
This is all so new, I can understand the fear. I’m beginning to feel the same way, too. Here is where our faith must kick in, though. Scripture tells us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Matthew 8:26 says: “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Regardless of what the Bible says, we are not perfect, and that doesn’t mean we do not have faith — it is the human side of us, and I understand.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.