The mask dilemma for California

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Mark-John Clifford | Guest Columnist

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, the CDC announced that people who have been vaccinated were no longer required to wear masks outside or in specific enclosed venues.

Here’s the announcement.

“People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.”

Since then, there has been some discontent in California in regards to the CDC guidelines.


The other day Ricky Schroder, the childhood actor, was in a confrontation at a local Costco over wearing his mask inside the store. It was recorded on video and posted on the web.

While I understand his frustration over wearing a mask, stores, restaurants, and other enclosed buildings in California can still require people to wear masks for the safety of others.

Even though the CDC has advised all of us of guideline changes, there is always a hidden rule that needs to be flushed out for each individual instance.

California is taking the precaution of not adhering to the CDC guidelines till June 15 or later.

In his announcement today, the state’s health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, “the date aligns with the state’s plan to reopen California’s economy on June 15 and allows more time for more Californians to get fully vaccinated.”

*quote from The San Franciso Chronicle

How much backlash this causes is sure to be a debate soon on Governor Newsom’s recall and the way he has handled the COVID pandemic this past year locally


Still, in Fresno and Clovis and most likely in other cities in the valley, restaurants and businesses are not requiring the wearing of masks while shopping.

Friday evening, the day after the announcement, I went to a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Clovis; all of the restrictions in the past, such as entering and exiting through different doors, carriages only at one entrance had been relaxed as well as the wearing of masks while shopping.

Everything in life is about timing. We are starting to see our numbers decline when it comes to infections of COVID.


The other day President Biden made this statement about COVID cases and their decline as well as vaccinations.

“To date, we have given out 250 million shots in 114 days, and we’re seeing the results. Cases are down in 49 of the 50 states. The New York Times has reported that hospitalizations are the lowest they’ve been since April of 2020, over a year ago, right after the start of the pandemic. Deaths are down 80 percent and also at their lowest levels since April of 2020.”

*quote from The White

Everything seems to be going in the right direction, so what’s the holdup in California?


I can see one main issue for not just California but every state and business. How do you know if a person has been vaccinated?

I was thinking about this after the announcement on Thursday if asked to prove my vaccination.

I know I can carry my vaccination card, but since you can’t laminate them, it would get ruined overtime in my wallet or pocket. Or I would wash my pants with the card in them by accident. Then what?

Patti, my wife, suggested we take a picture of our cards and keep them on our phone if asked for proof.

That sounded like a great idea, except I started thinking about some of the people that have been producing fake vaccination cards and if a picture would be acceptable?

I mean, pictures bring on an entirely new phase of fake products, am I right?

When it comes to proving you’ve been vaccinated, I wonder how much authority a business would have in asking for that. Doesn’t that kind of defeat the HIPPA privacy act?

So many questions arise with no real good answers that I can see so far. Then again, maybe the right questions haven’t been asked yet?

We’re all in this together. Whether you believe in vaccination or not, this is our pandemic, and we need to take whatever precautions we deem necessary to protect our health.

Remember, it’s our life.

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


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