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Some may continue to wear masks, despite relaxed rules

Some fully vaccinated residents may continue to wear face masks, despite new federal guidance.
Some fully vaccinated residents may continue to wear face masks, despite new federal guidance.(Megan Vanselow)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Wearing a mask is no longer recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for fully vaccinated people under most circumstances, but some who could shed masks are hesitant to do so.

“It makes everyone more comfortable, there’s less controversy just to put it on,” local resident Tammy Cole said.

Psychotherapist Kathryn Smerling says the masks give people a sense of community.

“I think that we have internalized [mask wearing] to make it work as a society and I think that’s what’s really important because we live within a larger realm of society,” Smerling said.

Smerling also says there are some who also believe the mask gives people a sense of control over their safety.

“The masks give us a sense of security whether false or not that there is some safety in it. We have become accustomed to becoming anxious about the COVID virus and about all the other particles in the air that could possibly harm us,” Smerling said.

She says she expects some to continue wearing masks even if herd immunity is eventually reached, recognizing their value in protecting against more than just COVID-19.

But there are also residents who are ready to ditch the masks for good.

“I think it’s time,” a local medical field employee named Kathryn, who didn’t share her last name said Tuesday.

“If it’s not required I’m definitely not doing it because I feel safe and I feel confident that the vaccine worked.”

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