Mask Mandate for Transportation Extended

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merkelman06

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Was set to expire on May 11 now extended to September 13.


Moderator note: Discussion about the practical aspects of the Amtrak mask mandate (such as implementation and on board enforcement) can be done here. Other discussion regarding the mask mandate is welcome in this thread.
 
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PaTrainFan

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This is disappointing. While I fully understand the efficacy of mask wearing I hate to do it because I have yet to figure how to wear one without steaming up my glasses, which is one reason I don't put myself into situations where I need to wear one for any length of time. But, there's still roomettes, when available.
 

Bob Dylan

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Was set to expire on May 11 now extended to September 13.

Good News😍, theres still too many Morons and Typhoid Mary's running around this Country, and with Transportation, including Amtrak, going to 100% occupancy Soon, this makes perfect sense!
 

jebr

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This is disappointing. While I fully understand the efficacy of mask wearing I hate to do it because I have yet to figure how to wear one without steaming up my glasses, which is one reason I don't put myself into situations where I need to wear one for any length of time. But, there's still roomettes, when available.
The best thing I've found is to get one with a good nosewire. There were some ones I got for free from T-Mobile a while back that work quite well, and the Powecom KN95s I bought do a decent job as well. The other plus I've found with the KN95s is that the tent in the middle makes it a lot more comfortable to talk. I've ordered some KF94s to see how well those work (since there's some with much less boring designs) but I'm hopeful those will work good as well.
 

PaTrainFan

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The best thing I've found is to get one with a good nosewire. There were some ones I got for free from T-Mobile a while back that work quite well, and the Powecom KN95s I bought do a decent job as well. The other plus I've found with the KN95s is that the tent in the middle makes it a lot more comfortable to talk. I've ordered some KF94s to see how well those work (since there's some with much less boring designs) but I'm hopeful those will work good as well.
Thank you. I may have to "invest" in something new as this drags on.
 

SarahZ

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The nose wire is pretty much essential, no matter what kind of mask you have. If I know I'm going to wear my glasses, I put the mask just a touch higher on my nose, form the nose wire around the bridge of my nose, and then rest my glasses on top. I haven't had any issues since.

You can retrofit your current cloth masks pretty cheaply. Go to any craft store and look for "floral wire". Snip a tiny piece, glue it to the inside of your mask where your nose is (or sew it in, if you're so inclined), and voila - nose wire. :)
 

amtrakpass

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Have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine myself and I think it is unfortunate that mask use is still required for mainly unscientific feel good optics in my opinion. For a few hour corridor trip I don't mind so much but for a long distance trip or especially an overnight long distance coach trip it would be the deciding factor in me not taking the train and I suspect it would play a part in many potential passengers decisions not to book a trip as well
 

Bob Dylan

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Have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine myself and I think it is unfortunate that mask use is still required for mainly unscientific feel good optics in my opinion. For a few hour corridor trip I don't mind so much but for a long distance trip or especially an overnight long distance coach trip it would be the deciding factor in me not taking the train and I suspect it would play a part in many potential passengers decisions not to book a trip as well
Too each their own, but a Large Majority of Travelers dont want to be close to Strangers inside of places or on means of Transportation!

You're not wearing a Mask for you, you're doing it for others!
Stay home and stay Safe! if you cant wear a Face Covering!😷
 
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PVD

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Since we don't have definitive data showing that vaccinated people can't carry and spread the virus, it makes sense to continue use indoors, and in crowded places. Preliminary data seems encouraging on that point, but I can't see any reason to rush it. Also, for those with issues with earloop style masks, there are many places that sell inexpensive bands that go behind the head, and may be very helpful.
 

amtrakpass

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I respect your guys opinion but I think the mask mandates need to come to an end for long distance coach travel to rebound and some of the reason for vaccine hesitancy is a false caution of continuing restrictions for vaccinated people when vaccines work.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine myself and I think it is unfortunate that mask use is still required for mainly unscientific feel good optics in my opinion.
The most likely reason the mandate remains is because not enough Americans have been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and there's no currently practical way to ensure only vaccinated people are removing their masks.

I think the mask mandates need to come to an end for long distance coach travel to rebound and some of the reason for vaccine hesitancy is a false caution of continuing restrictions for vaccinated people when vaccines work.
Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be an agreement that reaching 70% inoculation suspends mask mandates?
 

tim49424

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I respect your guys opinion but I think the mask mandates need to come to an end for long distance coach travel to rebound and some of the reason for vaccine hesitancy is a false caution of continuing restrictions for vaccinated people when vaccines work.
Fact is, because the vaccination rates are still too low for herd immunity, it's a good idea to wear them, even if you've been vaccinated yourself. The efficacy of the vaccines themselves isn't 100% anyway so a vaccinated person can still contract the disease....it just makes it less likely. Wearing the masks still is an added weapon in the fight against this and whenever it's determined that we've reached the herd immunity, then it'll truly be safe for those who have been vaccinated to take them off permanently. Also, there are variants of the virus spreading out there and the CDC isn't sure if the current vaccines are effective against them. Play nice and you'll get nice things, I like to say regarding these restrictions. Don't play and it'll delay the restoration to pre-pandemic conditions.
 

John Santos

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[...]
Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be an agreement that reaching 70% inoculation suspends mask mandates?
The criterion should be the current number of active cases, not the percent vaccinated. When the % is sufficient to bring about herd immunity, the number of active cases will plummet. But it is hard to estimate exactly what that percentage is, and it takes several weeks for your immune system to get fully activated by the vaccine. If the number of cases crashes after 65%, then we are at herd immunity a little earlier than expected. But if we've reached 70% and the case rate is still high, we should continue masking and social distancing; maybe we actually need 75% or 80% to achieve herd immunity and it would be tragic to stop too soon. But it should be pretty obvious when this happens.

Also, note the number of cases and the number of deaths is still far above what it was during last summer's lull. Here in Massachusetts, which has the 3rd highest vaccination rate in the country, we are still in the early November levels, which was near but not at the beginning of the surge, and already way above the summer lull. We need to get well below that level. But I don't think it will take an enormously long time to get there. I hope!
 

IndyLions

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For a lot of unvaccinated people - their attitude is “why bother to get vaccinated - they are still going to make me wear a mask everywhere I go - so what’s the point?”

So I do think these date-based mandates that are endlessly renewed are having a negative impact on motivating some people to get vaccinated. The first 50% of the population was easy. They (me) were going to get vaccinated regardless - they didn’t need motivation.

But at this point, anyone who wants a shot can get one - and weekly vaccination totals are dropping. Not good.

It is true there are a wide variety of reasons why people are not getting vaccinated. For some it’s difficult to get to the vaccination location. For others, it’s a complete mistrust of authority, or a fear for their immigration status. And for others they just don’t believe that these restrictions are ever going to end - so they see no point in getting the shot.

So in part to motivate that last group, I’d much prefer that we don’t just blindly extend these dates – but instead announce that when 75% of the population has been vaccinated, then all federal mandates and travel restrictions will be dropped. Period. They may have hinted that in the past, but it needs to be made crystal clear.

I think that’s smarter anyway. It largely takes politics out of it, and creates a simple target with one metric that needs to be hit.
 
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amtrakpass

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Well, my main hope is we all can come to some common ground as soon as possible and take the politics out of the restrictions and this is coming from someone who lives in a major city, knows the disease is very serious and real and voted for Biden. The idea of vaccines and social restrictions is to lessen death and mass casualites, not to remove 100% of disease or illness. If it were we would not be human beings at least since the fall in the Garden of eden. To keep it tied to Amtrak there are lot more people than we might realize who now are more afraid of crowds or travel or seeing there friends and co-workers than they should be or that any scientific data would call for. Not seeing other people and not participating in public society have very serious long term physical and mental health consequences themselves and especially after having been vaccinated, in my opinion leadership in all forms from business to politics should be encouraging people to resume public life, and stop wearing masks once they have been vaccinated. For myself I have had to go in the office 5 days a week the whole pandemic,been tested twice a week, worn a mask when needed and now been vaccinated. But with that I have also continued to take public transit and go out to eat etc... and participate in life. Anyway I am sure we all have the same goals here, just different perspectives and I hope even if we disagree on the particulars we can look forward to a day soon when there is healthy Amtrak ridership, crowded trains, and people traveling for all reasons, whether for the fun of it or just to get where they need to go.
 

tim49424

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in my opinion leadership in all forms from business to politics should be encouraging people to resume public life, and stop wearing masks once they have been vaccinated. For myself I have had to go in the office 5 days a week the whole pandemic,been tested twice a week, worn a mask when needed and now been vaccinated.
Yep, rip off the masks and see the number of infected people rise again. Let's get to herd immunity, then this option is reasonable and logic.

I'm just curious about something. What's so bad about wearing a simple cloth over your mouth and nose? There are so many good things that happen doing this, but what are you losing when you wear one?
 

AmtrakBlue

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Yep, rip off the masks and see the number of infected people rise again. Let's get to herd immunity, then this option is reasonable and logic.

I'm just curious about something. What's so bad about wearing a simple cloth over your mouth and nose? There are so many good things that happen doing this, but what are you losing when you wear one?
Well, there are those who are hard of hearing or deaf and lipread and even if the HoH don't lipread, it's still hard for us to hear though masks. Having said that...I'm all for continuing wearing masks when out in public.
 

SarahZ

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Well, there are those who are hard of hearing or deaf and lipread and even if the HoH don't lipread, it's still hard for us to hear though masks. Having said that...I'm all for continuing wearing masks when out in public.
And in my case, it makes my asthma much worse because of the hot, humid air I’m breathing in.

I cannot wait until they are no longer mandatory.
 

SarahZ

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Nose guard, smose guard. Simply wear the mask (cloth or otherwise) a little higher and place the lowest part of your glasses over the upper part of the mask.

No nose wire required. No more fogging up. It's very fashionable, too.
I tried that, but my mask kept slipping. :confused:

I use that as a short-term thing when in the drive-thru and other places where I'm only going to have my mask on for a minute or two. If I'm going somewhere for a longer period of time, though, I have to have the grippy wire.

Maybe I just have a weird face. :)
 

neroden

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I can't tell the difference, when I'm looking at an unmasked stranger, between someone who's vaccinated, and an unvaccinated, infected anti-vax plague-spreader who is lying about being vaccinated.

It is not safe to travel unless there is a mask mandate.

The vaccines are very good, but with a 1/1000 chance of still catching Covid-19 -- higher for my immunosuppressed partner -- I don't want to be around umasked plague-spreaders. And there is no way to tell whether an unmasked stranger is vaccinated or not.

I am actually planning travel now, but I would cancel it immediately if the mask mandate was removed. It'll be different once we reach herd immunity with 90% of the country vaccinated, but we are nowhere near that.

If the infected people wear masks, that's over 80% effective in preventing infection. Since we don't know who's infected, the only way to gain that benefit is for everyone to wear masks in public.
 

neroden

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So in part to motivate that last group, I’d much prefer that we don’t just blindly extend these dates – but instead announce that when 75% of the population has been vaccinated, then all federal mandates and travel restrictions will be dropped. Period. They may have hinted that in the past, but it needs to be made crystal clear.
That's a good idea -- though epidemiologists disagree on what level we need for herd immunity. Some think 70% is enough, but most are saying 80%-90%. I believe to have *some* margin of safety and avoid a disastrous too-early reopening, we should set it at 85%. (I am not sure 90% is achievable.)
 
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