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Some eager to ditch masks, others may take their time

FILE: Mask wearing decisions (KSNV)
FILE: Mask wearing decisions (KSNV)
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Nevada is aligning with CDC guidance on mask policies by no longer requiring fully vaccinated people to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor scenarios.

Some people, like Dante Fujiki, say they’re ready to move on without the masks.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Absolutely.”

John Franko told News 3 he won’t wear one unless he’s required to.

“I actually prefer to not have to wear a mask,” he said. “If a business or where it’s required on a plane, I’ll do it.”

Others, such as Vinesha Wimberly, plan to take their time in getting used to navigating life without a mask.

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“I’m fully vaccinated, I don’t have my mask on with you but I would still be wearing my mask because my children aren’t masked, and if they’re not vaccinated, I should be doing whatever I can to protect them,” she said. “It’s going to take me some time. I think I’ll move to not wearing it regularly, but when I go to concerts and amusement parks, I’m still going to be wearing it.”

Stephen Benning, a psychology professor at UNLV, says there are several factors at play in a person’s decision to continue wearing masks when it isn’t required or to stop wearing them because they no longer have to.

“There are these big differences in risk perception, and even the perception of what the mask means to people,” he said. “Even if they’re fully vaccinated, people may feel a lingering sense of threat or fear or anxiety about whether people will actually not contaminate them, will actually not infect them.”

Some people may have an easier time nixing the habit than others, according to Benning.

“This may be a difference between knowing that you’re safe and feeling that you’re safe,” he said.

News 3 spoke with Amy and Matt Mellinger, who both are fully vaccinated.

“I think I’ll probably wear mine for a little while. It’s been nice to not get a cold, the flu, or COVID,” Amy said.

As the new rules effectively establish an honor system, she thinks some unvaccinated people will not be honest about their status if it means they don’t have to wear a mask.

“For me, it’s a bit of a trust issue, I don’t know who’s telling the truth that they’ve been vaccinated and not wearing their masks, and who isn’t,” she said.

Matt told us he’ll continue to wear them when required, but it may take some time to get out of the habit of always wearing one.

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“I think it’s going to be hard to flip that switch in your brain, but I think eventually I’ll get there,” he said.

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