By Bethany Mandel
It’s not often that I say this as a conservative, but Mayor Bill de Blasio is absolutely correct to reject calls for a renewed indoor mask mandate and to refuse to consider renewed lockdowns in New York City in light of the emergence of the Delta variant. “A mask doesn’t arrest the progress of the variant,” Mr. de Blasio said, explaining how following the science led him to be reluctant to reinstitute the mandate this week. “Vaccination does.” This holds true not just for New York City: reinstituting mask mandates and lockdowns would be a mistake nationwide as well.
This is not spring 2020. Last March, Covid-19 was a mystery; here in the D.C. suburbs, we were wiping down our groceries with Clorox but still shopping in crowded supermarkets, shoulder-to-shoulder, unmasked. In the summer of 2021, we have more than one highly-effective vaccine available, and vaccination has been an option for every teenager and adult in the country for several months now. Operation Warp Speed was a modern miracle, and yet, we’re still behaving as though it’s the early days of the pandemic, though, thankfully, without the accompanying death toll.
Statistically, almost the only people getting sick enough to be hospitalized at this point are those who have yet to choose vaccination. They have chosen to accept the risk that decision brings and yet, with the threat of more lockdowns, we would all have to bear the cost.