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56% Say They’ll Wear Masks “Occasionally” Even After Pandemic Is Over

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While no one can be faulted for taking precautionary measures (within reason) during a pandemic, that more than half the country plans to continue taking them after it’s over just goes to show how much irrational fear the media has instilled in the public.

As HotAir reports:

A shocking result given the excitement that’s building for a return to normalcy this summer. Even more surprising is that the numbers don’t divide sharply along partisan lines, as they did in the Gallup poll that John wrote about on Friday. As you’d expect, Republicans are less likely to say they’ll go on wearing masks after the pandemic. But not as less likely as you’d think.

Dems are at 68/10 on wearing masks “in special circumstances” at least while Republicans stand at 43/42 — a plurality in favor! A fifth of GOPers and a third of Dems say they expect to wear masks “frequently.”

Overall, 56% say they’ll continue to wear masks occasionally when the pandemic is over.

Of course, these numbers could be skewed by how people are subjectively defining the pandemic “being over.” As HotAir’s Allahpundit notes, “When is the pandemic “over”? Is it when all states have lifted all restrictions? Is it when cases or deaths have dropped beyond a certain level nationally (or locally)? Is it when we reach a certain threshold of herd immunity? Or is it when enough people have been vaccinated that experts can safely say that we’re not going to have a “fourth wave” of spiking hospitalizations?” It’s also the case that since masks have become normalized, people plan on wearing them during flu season.

A recent poll aimed to uncover the difference between how Republicans and Democrats gauge the risk of the virus. In short it found that Republicans tend to underestimate the harm caused by the virus while Democrats overestimate the harm – but the extent to which Democrats overestimate the harm is far greater than the extent to which Republicans underestimate it. One’s risk perception of the virus heavily influences the precautionary measures they’re willing to take, hence why liberals are more likely to keep masking up even in a post-pandemic world.

Even as states such as Texas have dropped their mask mandates, many businesses and private establishments are still enforcing their own, and many citizens still voluntarily wearing them.

As for the effectiveness of those mask mandates, a recent CDC study found that mask mandates were associated with a 0.5 percentage point decrease in daily coronavirus case growth rates within the first 20 days. The reduction in growth rates increased over time, reaching 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage points within 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, and 81-100 days, respectively, after implementation. Note that their study isn’t of masks vs. no masks, it’s of no mask mandate vs. a mask mandate (the difference being that many people voluntarily wore masks before there were mask mandates in most states).

While the study did find a positive result, it’s a heck of a lot smaller than you’d expect given the “life of death” rhetoric from the left we’ve been inundated with for the past year.

Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New YorkDebunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate

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