When can the COVID-19 masks finally come off?
Loosening mask requirements now would be premature, experts said, especially as we head into the winter
November 22, 2021
Amid the turmoil of the past two years - a period that included a deadly pandemic, mass layoffs, an ugly presidential election and an attack on the U.S. Capitol - some of the fiercest political debates in America have been waged over a nearly weightless piece of fabric: the face mask.
U.S. officials were slow to embrace face masks as a strategy for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. When they finally did, masks became a potent symbol of the pandemic - a common-sense public health measure turned political flashpoint and a visible reminder that life was anything but normal.
Now, with the summer's delta surge in the rearview mirror and the vaccination of school-age children underway, many Americans are wondering when the masks might finally come off.