TACOMA, Wash. - As COVID-19 cases climb higher and higher across many cities in Washington, medical experts insist masks are part of the solution.
While the state is under a mask mandate, not everyone is wearing them.
"There are a lot of people that are complaining that we’re back to masks. And it’s like ‘well, you’re the reason that we’re back to masks. Because if you had worn a mask or gotten vaccinated, it wouldn’t be running as rampant as it is now,’" said Hannah Wardman while visiting Point Ruston in Tacoma with her husband and infant baby.
Heading into the 19th month of the coronavirus pandemic, some people are getting worn out from wearing masks.
"It does get tiring sometimes because it does get a little bit hard to breathe with it on. But I just try to deal with it as much as I can," said Drew Bonilla while having lunch in Tacoma.
"I got into the store. It aggravates me when I see people who aren’t," said Kate Alexander, an avid mask wearer.
Another mask mandate in Washington started on Aug. 23, regardless of vaccine status. However, not all people are following the rule to cover their mouth and nose.
"I work in a restaurant right up the street here and it is exhausting wearing the mask, reminding people to wear the mask, getting feedback from people about reminding them to wear the masks. You know, it’s a lot," said Wardman.
Even after all these months, some people said it’s still too early in the pandemic to let their guard down by taking the mask off.
"To protect myself! Because my daughter had COVID and I don’t wish it on nobody," said Barbara Spann while visiting Point Ruston. "I don’t want to see these kids sick. Because my daughter—that was enough. And we have a friend, he’s fighting right now. He has COVID and pneumonia."
Though health officials say vaccine numbers are rising, delta variant case numbers and hospitalizations are rising even faster. The uptick is one reason why the state mandated face coverings again at all indoor spaces and places where it’s hard to maintain a safe distance.
"Just look at the numbers and see what’s happening in our world," said Alexander. "If you don’t choose to get vaccinated or wear a mask, please stay out of the grocery stores, stay out of the department stores."
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