Shots – HEALTH NEWS FROM NPR
Like everyone else, Devin Golden is thrilled omicron is in retreat. But he isn’t ready to let down his guard. He’s not even close.
“I know a lot of people have stopped wearing their masks,” says Golden, 33, of Palm Bay, Fla. “I still wear my mask almost every time in public and especially indoors.”
Devin Golden still wears his mask in public, despite the decline in cases, as he has done since 2020.
Golden doesn’t describe himself as a germaphobe or a worrier in general. He doesn’t have any health problems that would put him at high risk. He and his wife are fully vaccinated and boosted. They just aren’t ready to take that leap.
Even though the omicron surge is fading, Golden knows the virus is still infecting more than 35,000 people, and killing more than 1,200, every day in the U.S.
“There’s been stories about people who are just as healthy as me who have died from this,” he says. “It’s rare. But it’s not like it’s zero percent.”
And it’s not just masks. Golden’s still working from home, hasn’t gone back to the gym or taken a plane trip, and is still isn’t really socializing much indoors.
As many people return to more pre-pandemic behaviors, this can feel like an especially perilous moment for older people, those with weak immune systems and other health problems that make the virus especially dangerous.
Parents of kids too young to get vaccinated are worried too. Many feel left behind and angry.
Golden is one of the many healthy people who aren’t necessarily at high risk but who nonetheless are also feeling out of sync with the world around them.
It can be tricky to adjust, experts agree, and hard to deal with the social pressure to shrug off COVID worries … READ MORE.
TSA Fined Travelers $640K for Face Mask Violations
MEDSCAPE – The Transportation Security Administration has fined travelers $644,389 in 922 incidents involving face mask violations on airplanes, airports, and surface transportation, a report from the General Accounting Office says.
Overall, the TSA investigated 3,815 incidents involving potential face mask violations from February 2, 2021, to March 7, 2022, the report said. When fines weren’t levied, 2,709 warning notices were issued and no action was taken in 180 incidents.
The report said 788 incidents that resulted in fines occurred on board aircraft and resulted in fines averaging $634. Fines were issued in 18 airport checkpoint incidents with fines averaging $3,170, 72 incidents on airport premises with fines averaging $803, and 44 incidents on surface transportation with fines averaging $640.
The report did not say how many of the fines were collected.
During 2021, the FAA handled 5,981 reports of unruly passengers with 4,290 incidents related to face masks. The FAA launched 1,122 investigations and 350 enforcement actions, with $5 million in fines proposed. It’s not known how much in fines was paid … READ MORE.