Mask Mandate Ends on Fort Huachuca. Again.
It’s been nearly three years since we first started hearing about COVID-19 and I think it’s a safe assumption we’re all weary of social distancing, mask mandates, vaccination protocols and worst of all, getting sick and missing school or work after being exposed to Covid. It’s all pretty inconvenient, but for some of us, especially at the outset, things have been much worse.
DOING OUR BEST TO STAY SAFE
The simple fact is no one had any idea what we were dealing with. We all tried our best, doing our part to “slow the spread” and keep overstressed hospitals running. We learned to use remote meeting software from our couches and kitchen tables. We shut down businesses and schools. We isolated from home, continuing work and school in every way possible.
Hardworking folks at grocery stores, restaurants, doctors’ offices, hospitals, trucking and transportation companies, and on and on, had to keep showing up in person, but changed the way they did everything – and all from behind a mask meant to protect everyone from contracting this ever-evolving illness.
VARIANTS CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
Over time, the changing variants of the virus became somewhat weaker, and the spread seemed to slow down. Now, I’m not a virologist, a biologist, or any kind of scientist, but I kept an eye on the Covid numbers and how they changed over time. There’s a worldwide trend of watching new variants of the virus as it moves across the world.
Which means sooner or later, a renewed outbreak was bound to hit Cochise County and Fort Huachuca. Fort Huachuca is home to the 111TH Military Intelligence Brigade. Many young soldiers are trained here, which places Fort Huachuca is the unique position of protecting their health. So, it was no surprise when Fort Huachuca reinstated their mask mandate a month ago, requiring agencies on the fort to wear a mask in all facilities.
MASK MANDATES ON THE ECONOMY
A few businesses in Sierra Vista and Huachuca City followed suit and required masks to enter the business, following Fort Huachuca’s lead. With so many citizens now vaccinated, some businesses didn’t think the inconvenience was necessary. Those who decided to follow the fort’s mandate found most people had given up mask-wearing, and often had to dig under car seats to see if they even had one floating around their vehicle. Others were angered, argued with the business owners, and left in a huff.
THE MANDATE IS LIFTED. AGAIN.
Over the weekend, Fort Huachuca announced they were once again lifting the mask-mandate, and everyone – LITERALLY – breathed a sigh of relief.
But it begs the question: will this all happen again? With indications Arizona’s new governor Katie Hobbs may implement polices that are very different from her predecessor, Doug Ducey, what will Covid prevention look like in the future?
For now, it may be a little too early to completely dispose of the masks we’ve been hauling around, but at least most of us can relax a little. For now.
What do you think about mask mandates and other Covid prevention measures?