To mask or not to mask? We’re asking you the question.

Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 7:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -You remember those days, right? Signs outside businesses that said you must have a mask to enter.

Governor Tate Reeves is making it clear that the state has no intention of returning to mask mandates. Covid cases are up in the state. So we wanted to hear from you and what you think about the Governor’s comments.

“I agree with him,” said Joseph McDaniel. “I think it’s uncalled for, unnecessary. I’m definitely not doing it. So that’s where I stand.”

“I just think it’s a risk to not wear it, at least at some point in time,” described Herbert Scott, Jr. “Like I come to the grocery store. I’ll put it on. If I go in any crowded area, I put it on. If I’m around family and people I know, not necessarily. But I’m gonna stick with it until someone else other than the Governor tells me it’s safe.”

But even some of you who are bringing the masks out of retirement don’t know that it should be required.

“It depends on if you want to wear a mask or not,” noted Emmanuel McDougal.

“While I’m at work in my business, I will have mine on and ask customers to have their own,” said Willie Huff. “But when I clock out, I’m taking mine off.”

Politics aside, we asked infectious disease Dr. Stephen Threlkeld if it’s medically a good idea to mask up.

“The thing about the masks that still I think is not terribly well understood by people is that with the exception of those N95 masks, and maybe the KN95 masks,” said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Health Care Medical Director of Infectious Disease. “The standard paper masks that people can get, surgical masks, so to speak, they really are only very good at keeping you from giving it to somebody else. So, it’s not the poor person who would be at risk for it wearing the paper mask, that’s going to make the difference.”

For a reminder of who’s most at-risk — groups ranging from the elderly to those with pre-existing conditions.

“Thankfully, things are very, very different from where they were in 2020,” he said. “We have a lot of background immunity, and the average person is not even nearly as likely as they were then to get really sick from the disease. Unfortunately, we still have a number of people who still can get very sick and have the occasional death from this.”

Threlkeld says it’s the environment and type of mask that should be considered and notes that a lot of his advice depends on the variant that’s circulating. The current wave hasn’t been as severe as previous ones.

“Right now, you know, large-scale masking in the general public is probably not necessary because the average person out there has immunity,” Threlkeld added. “Now, the one caveat I would always like to throw in is that we don’t know yet what some of the long-term effects of COVID are.”

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