Welcome to the Not So New Era Of Masklessness

Despite patrons’ concerns about safety and compliance, local health departments know that businesses have skirted mask mandates for quite some time. What can health departments do if and when another Covid wave hits?

Christine Wolf
10 min readFeb 25, 2022


Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced today it’s easing Covid-19 mask mandates.

I’d like to feel relieved, but I’m not quite there, yet.

To be sure, data tells us things are trending in the right direction, and we’re certainly all TIRED of wearing masks. It’s been a long, traumatic road, and we’re all eager to take them off, particularly as we watch the tides turn back toward *normalcy*.

Author screenshot: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home

Along with many cities, Chicago plans to drop its mask and proof-of-vax mandates at the end of this month, as does my own city of Evanston, Illinois.

Mayor Daniel Biss of Evanston, in a message to constituents earlier this week, wrote:

In alignment with the State of Illinois, the Cook County Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Public Health, Evanston will be lifting its masking and vaccination mandates on Monday, February 28. This means the City of Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department will no longer require masks to be worn in indoor public spaces, such as stores, recreation facilities, community centers, libraries, entertainment venues, restaurants, and other spaces. In addition, businesses and venues will no longer be required to verify patrons’ proof of vaccination.

Biss added that masks are still recommended in schools, large venues like concerts, healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, congregate settings such as shelters, and public transportation.

I’ve imagined the day this announcement would come —but to be honest, I didn’t expect I’d feel so conflicted about it.

  • Fresh in my mind is the Omicron variant which took everyone by surprise.
  • Fresh in my mind is the…



Christine Wolf

Memoir Coach. Author. Journalist. Marathoner. Lover of emotions, words & spicy nachos. Grateful you’re here. Twitter/Insta @tinywolf1. www.christinewolf.com