Sadly, I now predict the mask mandate will be extended on airplanes at least once more…and I have public polling, recent statements from government officials, and the city of Philadelphia to demonstrate why I’ve arrived at this point.
Mask Mandate Extended Again? I Tend To Think So
Let me start by saying that I want to the mask mandate to end. At this point in the pandemic, with vaccines and drugs to treat COVID-19 widely available, it should be up to each person whether to protect themselves with a mask or not. We saw a huge surge in violence onboard during the pandemic directly traceable to masks and it is time to jettison those masking requirements and encourage each passenger to take precautions as they deem prudent. The mask mandate should expire on April 18, 2022.
But while both flight airlines and flight attendant unions wish to rescind the mask mandate, I am increasingly convinced it will be extended again.
First, because of words from White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha. He told NBC News this week that an extension is “absolutely” under consideration, noting:
“This is a CDC decision and I think it is absolutely on the table.”
Second, because public polling, even at this point, still suggests there is majority support for mandatory masking on airplanes. A Harris Poll tracker found 6 / 10 Americans favor extending the mask mandate on airplanes (no doubt the 6 / 10 Americans who don’t leave their towns…). Democrats are walking a tightrope over the November election, facing inflation levels at 40-year highs, and while declaring victory over COVID-19 is a goal, the Administration does not want to declare victory prematurely. The latest BA.2 strain is manageable, but is highly contagious.
Third, because the city of Philadelphia just brought back its indoor mask mandate, blaming a surge in cases. As a former Philadelphia resident, I think the city has overstepped its bounds and acted irrationally (the city says it is out of an abundance of caution), particularly because hospitals are not expected to fill up and though contagious, the BA.2 is very much treatable for the few who exhibit strong symptoms. This becomes a “boy who cried wolf” situation when Philadelphia disregards CDC recommendations and hospitals never fill up. Philadelphia’s move is particularly unfortunate because it makes it more likely the CDC will also act out of an abundance of caution.
As much as I’d love to be 100% wrong, my hunch is that the mask mandate on airplanes will be extended once again. Instead, those who are at high-risk (like the elderly or the obese) should wear masks and others should be left to decide for themselves. Enough is enough.
Poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.
Joe, you forgot to add that “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent” in Delaware
And who can forget this classic.
Masks will be extended until Jan 20, 2025
America voted for this nonsense
Sleepy Joe Biden strikes again
100% agree. But really don’t trust that poll at all, I spend most of my time in heavy blue cities with people who voted for Biden and privately most want to see the mandate end. They just don’t openly admit it for fear of being judged as “uncaring”.
But even if the polls were in favor, the people making the decisions have shown themselves to be highly risk averse. So it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it gets extended multiple times, even if no longer enforced by most FAs.
Don’t work those people in those very blue cities will vote early and often!! Even the dead ones!!
Everyone is starting to see, this never had anything to do with “Science”
Just theater, as usual, to distract the masses and make them feel safe.
And they do as they’re told – because… fear always wins over rationality.
This is 100% a political calculation and not a scientific one. The industry letters, recent vote in the senate and the increasing number of lawsuits have put the administration in a bind, and the real debate is over whether it’s better politically to appear to bow to pressure or to take a “noble stand” and loose in court. I’m positively convinced that some federal court will issue an injunction when one of these suits reaches the bench, and then we’re off to SCOTUS. I’ve read up on the briefings from the Texas case and I’d say we are mere weeks away from such a ruling.
Everyone knows this mandate has to be gone by the election (some time beforehand), but how to do it is the cause of so much handwringing.
End the vaccine theatre. Mute the covid cultists. MOVE ON. END THE NONSENSE!
Respectfully disagree Matthew buts we live in a society where we can do that but we also live in one where peer pressure over rules the science which is also a fact of life. I am one who believes the science but as you can see from CDC, FDA and others the science gets ‘bent’ by peer pressure. I for one am very comfortable wearing a mask on planes and in public areas where I don’t feel comfortable. The Covid is out there and least anyone think its over, it ain’t over until its over and more waves to come.
My main concern has to do with the science being ‘bent’ so we are at a point where is it really science or not? No one knows or if they do know, they are being shut down by the peer pressure (Kind of like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC). All we can do at this point is continue the other science that’s is not being shut down, Vaccines and getting a Covid booster in to the annual Flu Shots.
Covid and like variances are gonna be around for years to come and the people in the labs in the background are going to be our saviors in the long run. Now there is of course a large gap in my theory, the num-nuts who think vaccines are bad, I have rights and freedoms, blah, blah, blah. Public health should override all else and even Constitutional rights have limits but blah, blah, blah.
Thanks for the story, I’ve been wondering what your prediction would be. In this case, I believe you are correct, but hope we both are proven wrong.
Meanwhile there are countless families out there with kids with autism or other disabilities who struggle with masks and can’t make plans to travel because our government overlords not only think they must micromanage our lives, but also must do it with no advance notice or ability to plan for requirements. This is shameful.
I don’t understand what the big deal is with wearing a mask and most travel blogs… For the vast majority of people, masks are easy and painless. Young kids are the only constituency that I can see might be difficult. Otherwise, there is no issue. And honestly, I’m a little disappointed over the hysteria and acrobatics that travel blogs are performing to make this non-issue an issue.
Masks ruin the premium cabin experience
The majority of travellers don’t fly “the premium cabin experience” and could care less whether the entitled few have to continue to wear masks.
And your comment of “entitled few” shows what is wrong with society.
Instead of trying to bring yourself up, you are trying to bring down the successful and not wanting them to benefit from the fruits of their labor
Yes it does.
The masks are undeniably a big part of the travel experience these days, and thus part of the travel blogs.
I like air travel, and I’d like there to be well-staffed airlines with kind, competent desk representatives and cabin crew. Unfortunately these folks are being put on the front lines of a conflict of questionable necessity without clear parameters for a resolution. Perpetuating this situation has a significant impact on the travel experience.
The “big deal” is that it’s a pain in the rump and uncomfortable. What’s more there is zero need for it. The CDC has already blessed being massless in places like theaters etc where large number of people are in close contact. Those places don’t have the airflow systems that exist on planes. Airflow systems which have always made the case for masking even at the height of the pandemic questionable at best. Not to mention that the cloth masks worn by the vast majority of people these days are of very questionable effectiveness against current strains.
In summary there is simple no justifiable need for a dedicated transportation mask mandate. Maybe you don’t mind wearing a mask at all but I know I’m sick to death of the things. Why must I continue to wear one when the science doesn’t support it?
Then there is the rise in violence masks have driven. Any proper analysis of a public health measure should look at both benefits and costs. It’s clear that the costs of this mandate very much outweigh any supposed benefit.
lawsuits have already been filed. i suspect there is a federal judge somewhere ready to strike this down if and when the rule is extended. this would put the administration in the awful position of fighting this increasingly unpopular mandate at the worst possible time. and even if they were successful in eventually winning they would have to take responsibility for the reimplementation of it after 2-3 weeks of freedom.
These jabronis are already using BA.2 to justify mask (and testing) possibly forever, even if nearly half of Europe is surviving that without any covid related measures.
As much as I would love to see the mandate gone as well-this post of full of entitled BS. First, there are still *many* people who are unable to get vaccinated due to medical conditions or treatments. And guess what? They still fly. So they should put their health at risk so you don’t have to wear a mask? Sure-totally fair. Second, the spikes in violence have been seen everywhere-not just planes. And masking *may* be one reason. Guess what that answer is-don’t be an asshat and attack workers because you are uncomfortable in a mask. And the Harris poll-yeah I travel A LOT and might have voted to keep masks on for a few more weeks. Don’t make a stupid generalization there. I stumbled upon this page when googling something else. Think I will go back to reading the points guys. His posts aren’t written by selfish brats.
Yes, those at risk are welcome to wear an N-95 mask, which provides full protection against others.
The problem is that there is no single item that provides “full protection.” An N95 is highly effective, but it’s not perfect.
Given that we don’t have universal vaccine mandates, not requiring masks of everyone means that society is abrogating individuals who choose not to wear a mask of all responsibility that they might transmit a communicable disease to others, and places that obligation on the most vulnerable in society. That isn’t right.
I am one of those people who can take a vaccination, but due to my immunosuppressive meds, we just don’t know how well the vaccination will work for me. I’d like to see the mask mandate end.
When you say this: “So they should put their health at risk so you don’t have to wear a mask? Sure-totally fair.”
What I want to point out in response, is that being immunocompromised is inherently unfair, and will always be so. Any interaction I have with another human being would be lower risk if all parties were masked, but I don’t expect or want people to be forced to wear masks around me at all times.
I’m not anti-mask. There is a time for masking, and at times in this pandemic, I think that mandated masking on planes was the right call, but at this point what we’re doing in airports and other forms of transit is out of step with what we’re doing in most other social interactions. At this point, mandated masking should have specific and transparent indications, and if the indications are not present then individuals should be restored their ability to choose whether to mask or not.
In all honestly, I am less bothered by mask mandate than I am with 1-day pre-travel test requirement. Nothing worse than the possibility of not getting to fly back home. The fact that they’re not even talking about that is very concerning.
Absolutely. I canceled a trip to London last week due to the cost and uncertainty if I had tested positive before my return flight.
Fake it till you make it?
Agree. Though I am likely to take the risk.
Yet hundreds of thousands come across the Southern Border who have never been tested and from countries with very low to zero jab rates. Insane.
My kid’s school sent the following instructions based on Lord Fauci CDC guidelines in case of a positive Covid case at home: “ Any unvaccinated household members should quarantine for 5 days and obtain a PCR test as close to day 5 as possible. If vaccinated, no close contact quarantine is needed. ” LOL!!! Very scientific based, right? So if you are vaccinated, life goes on even if you had a close contact with someone infected. Really? Who came up with this nonsense? My next door neighbor is triple vaccinated and got Covid. His wife and kids are all boosted as well and he infected them all. But yes, let’s all wear masks on planes because they are very effective.
Thanks for the completely irrelevant anecdote about how your neighbor got a breakthrough infection (was he hospitalized?), and infected his family, who were presumably not wearing masks at home, and somehow using that pointless story to justify overriding abundant evidence that N95 masks work to prevent infections.
I live in a very blue area of a very blue state. Highly vaccinated. My office is fully vaxxed. And yet the number of people I know personally who caught COVID skyrocketed in recent weeks. It’s not a coincidence that it began at the same time the mask mandates came off.
Are y’all dying though? Since you guys and 2x, 3x vaxxed then we really should really worry less about covid case counts and instead focus on hospitalizations. Case counts is a very 2020 way of thinking about this.
@Greg: are you on Metamucil like the Demented in Chief? The story about my neighbor is to illustrate how stupid the CDC guidelines are related vaccinated vs unvaccinated when in close contact with someone with Covid. The stupid CDC says if you are vaccinated and you had a close contact with someone with Covid you are free to go. But if you are unvaccinated and had a close contact you need to quarantine and get a PCR test. Hello??? How does this make sense? My neighbor and all his family were vaccinated and boosted and followed the stupid guideline since they had close contact with him but were vaccinated so free to go. That is the huge BS since the fact they were vaccinated didn’t impede them to get Covid. Wake up!!!!
The one thing you and I agree on is that the CDC guidelines are moronic. I believe they are dangerous, because they are being implemented for political expediency, rather than based on actual science. Continuing the mandate on aircraft would be the closest thing to scientifically justifiable rulemaking that they’ve done in more than a year.
The example you gave is exactly why we need continued mask mandates. Vaccinations aren’t enough, nor are masks. If the majority of our society weren’t weak-willed wimps who can’t handle a mask over their mouths and who are afraid of a vaccination that has been safely administered many billions of times, we’d get rid of this stuff. But we don’t – we have a bunch of cowards.
@Greg: So, why is the CDC guideline moronic? Because we are governed by morons. Now, you are in favor of masks but please do not tell me that all masks work. I have been on a plane almost weekly since April 2021. I simply laugh when I see people wearing masks with their favorite team logo. I have siblings that are doctors and dentists. They know what it takes for a mask to protect against viruses. The mask mandate on airports (BTW, why you need a masks inside am airport but can watch a basketball game inside an arena with 20k people without one???) and airplanes is a political theater.
Now, since you are so in love with N95 masks, I will share a story with you. Two weeks ago I went on a camping trip with my kid’s school. There were 65 students plus teachers plus parents so in total around 100 people. Masks were requested on the buses but not on the place. There was a mix of outdoors and indoors activities for 3 days. Among the 100 people, there was 1 teacher that wore a N95 mask all the time. Indoors or outdoors she had that N95 mask on. Her choice. A few days after we came back the school sent out an email saying that everyone in that event had been exposed to Covid. So we all got tested and I asked my son if he knew who in the school had tested positive for Covid. Do you want to know who was the only single person that tested positive for Covid among 100 people? Can you guess??? Yes, the teacher that had a N95 mask on all the time was the only person that tested positive for Covid. And yes, she was vaccinated and boosted.
BTW, if you are running down on your N95 stock, I can send you mine since I don’t use them at all. My kids haven’t had a mask on since last December and go to school everyday and they are fine. Life goes on my friend. As for airplanes, I will continue to wear those stupid masks but I know that will end on January 20, 2025.
Gotta trust the political science.
Masks are pure theatrics at this point. But as an earlier poster mentioned, the negative test one day prior to returning to the US that applies to EVERYBODY is beyond stupid and the current admin absolutely knows this, Idiots, all of them. If a pax is vaxxed that should be it, at most. Period. Covid isn’t going away. Ever. Requiring a test is so pathetic it makes my head hurt
I happen to agree the mandate will be extended. It’s all optics. It’s optics on the part of the administration and it’s optics on the part of Mathew since he knows this post would just stir up trouble . But as I noted above, the one-day testing requirement is far more intrusive than masks.
Well, the mystery of the day is: who are these 6 in 10 people that favor mask wearing? Because most people seem to be pretty much sick and tired of COVID theatre. Not to mention that yet another extension will highlight what a sick joke the CDC and the installed lefty regime are. Given that even the CDC admits that cloth masks do little to nothing to stop the spread of the Wuhan. Which I was savaged for saying online 2 years ago. You see, respiratory protection is something I know about professionally and there was no way that a cloth mask was ever going to stop a virus. Not even on a small water droplet (only imbedded in larger ones). While the N95 mask does actually screen some of the viral load, the average idiot I see with one has never been training in it’s use and doesn’t wear it correctly – never mind cleaning or replacing it with great frequency as required. Oh, and that mask fatigues your respiratory system somewhat and wasn’t designed to be worn for an entire day at the airport. It can do more harm than good.
So, this truly is theatre and virtue signaling that you see at airports and in woke ad campaigns. Wearing a mask may make you FEEL virtuous, but it won’t keep you from catching the virus.
You forgot “Let’s Go Brandon” at the end so I could complete my bingo card.
Easy answer. Those are the 6 in 10 people sitting at home and willing to answer questions from a pollster. And most won’t be honest anyway since they would fear being judged for giving the wrong answer.
When was the last time a poll actually correlated to the vote? 2012?
I wear an N95 every day. I have since March of 2020 when I leave the house. I tried 11 different masks before I found one that worked well for me. And I know how to fit it to my face (which is why you don’t hear me whining about my glasses fogging).
I’d like to think I’m especially virtuous, smart and strong, but I’m not – I just give a shit. Most people don’t, which is why they wear crappy cloth masks that don’t do anything except fog their glasses.
With respect to wearing N95’s all day in the airport, HCW do it all the time. My kids wear them all day at school. I’m about to wear one all day tomorrow for 8 hours flying from the west coast back east.
There are lots of excuses for not wearing a mask. But they’re simply excuses for the fact people are too embarrassed to admit that they just don’t care.
I hope someone knows where Greg lives and reports him to CPS. These poor kids need saved from him and his beliefs.
I’m going to assume he was joking in this post because I refuse to believe there are people like him in this country. Then again, there is a lot of mental illness going on out there.
And then he will wonder why these kids are bullied in school and come home crying about being called dicks.
“I’m not virtuous, but I play a virtuous person every day by signaling my virtue through my mask wearing.”
Even N95 mandates would do virtually nothing to stop the spread of the virus. Do the work. Read some studies. Keep up with the virtue signaling. I’m sure you’ll raise some prideful virtue signaling kids.
The best excuse for not wearing a mask to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is that there is no evidence that masks work to mitigate the spread of the virus while causing demonstrable harms. One RCT even showed that cloth mask wearers were three times as likely to get an ILI as the unmasked. Search for Tom Jefferson and Carl Heneghan at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University for the details.
FYI the mask mandate just got extended again for 2 more weeks. #LGB
It is extended until May 2
This is why we need to limit people running for president to 35-65. Cannot have senile people ruining our country
I could be on board with that. It would have saved us a ton of grief starting in January 2017.
You do realize Trump, Clinton and Sanders were all older than 65 as of January 2017, don’t you? Who would you have had as President, BETO?
Bureaucracy and managing a big airline is slow so extending mask requirements for 2 weeks is stupid. Any extension should be 2 or 3 months.
As far as masks, they are too flimsy. N95 should be required.
I caught a very bad cold before the pandemic due to a sick person next to me on a 757.
Politicians handling the matter is a bad idea. Look at Biden’s promise when he got into office….wear a mask for 100 days then (implied, rip off your masks). Doctors, not just public health ivory tower folks, should have the most say in the decision process.
Freaking clueless assholes. Remember in November!!
Those of you who thought they would end this mandate or have been saying they are just following science, I sincerely hope you reevaluate your understanding of who these people are and what they stand for. If there is any silver lining in this madness, maybe it will become a moment of enlightenment.
You were right…it has been extended by 2 weeks.
When I saw the headline, I predicted that there would be a plethora of stupid comments or outright lies attributing those lies to the current president (see first comment for illustration) but I’m sadly impressed with the scale nonetheless.
Regarding your “We saw a huge surge in violence onboard during the pandemic directly traceable to masks” comment, if nitwits can’t follow basic rules that a six year old child can manage, they really shouldn’t be allowed on planes anyway. If they’re violent then that just furthers my point. I think it’s wrong to allow people to abrogate their responsibilities of living in a civilized society by implying that the mask made them do it, whatever awful behavior that it is.
All you need to remember is they are lifting Title 42 for people coming into the country illegally, but law abiding citizens have had their mask mandate extended. I don’t care how much you hate Trump. These bastards need to pay at the poll beginning this fall.
When our overlords declared BLM and Antifa rioters exempt from Chicom virus restrictions that the rest of us had to suffer under, I’d think most people would start to question those overlords. Sadly, No.
“Instead, those who are at high-risk (like the elderly or the obese) should wear masks and others should be left to decide for themselves”
I thought masking was to protect others, not to protect oneself. When did this get reversed?
When N95s became widely available.
Matthew, even N95s are no magic bullet. They are only effective if fitted property. Study after study has shown that the “virus gonna virus.” It is hubris to think otherwise. It is tyranny to impose mandates based on these false hopes.
The purpose of mandated masking is to reduce the aerosol dispersion of virus from pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic infectees. Public policy assumes that symptomatic and/or confirmed infectees will isolate or mask to altruistically reduce spread of virus.
N95 masking, even if fitted properly, does not eliminate aerosol landing on face of wearer nor on surfaces likely to be touched by others during the risk-duration.
This is of increased significance in an extended-duration enclosed environment onboard a commercial aircraft.
It was established a long time ago that surfaces are not a major spread vector