Are Mask Mandates Returning? Twitter Turns into Battleground as ‘BringBackMasks’ Trends, Setting Off Fury on Both Sides of the Fight

Across the Twitterverse, people are engaging in a battle over a topic many thought settled for good: mask mandates. #BringBackMasks

Are Mask Mandates Returning? Twitter Turns into Battleground as 'BringBackMasks' Trends

Across the Twitterverse, people are engaging in a battle over a topic many thought settled for good: mask mandates.

#BringBackMasks has been trending, with tens of thousands of users engaging in a back-and-forth about both the benefits and downsides to bringing masks back to their communities as a regular or mandated action.

Some are getting pretty fired up, with famous faces like Donald Trump Jr weighing in – and doctors weighing in on the other side. Here's what's happening as people duke it out over the mask future of America.

BringBackMasks Trends on Twitter

Donald Trump Jr was clear in his feelings on the return of mandates, tweeting, "Omg #bringbackmasks is currently trending on twitter.

All of you mentally ill covid freaks are more than welcome to voluntarily wear masks. No one is stopping you. But no more allowing your mental illness and irrational fears to control the lives and behaviors of sane people!"

Other users chime in that they're done "being controlled" and won't "go back" to the times when the government could force them to wear masks.

But doctors and professionals weighed in on the other side of the argument, with epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding writing, "Pediatric hospitalizations are surging. Cases of all respiratory viruses surging. #COVID is rising again too. It’s time we #BringBackMasks and use that hashtag #️⃣ going forward.

#COVIDisAirborne #CovidIsNotOver."

And data scientist Dr. Craig Sloss tweeting, "Waterloo Region has five times as many hospitalized Covid patients today as we did the same time last year — back when everything was open but everyone was wearing masks. #BringBackMasks."

Both sides are impassioned by their arguments, with comments filling with people in support of or arguing vehemently against points, proving that even 2.5 years into a post-COVID world, people can not seem to agree on whether or not masking helps. According to official recommendations, it does.

That doesn't mean everyone thinks it's worth it though, and the argument raging on Twitter proves that everyone is still fired up over issues that kept the world at odds during the pandemic, when the world should have been most in accord over keeping others safe.

Will Mask Mandates Return to the US?

The question on everyone's mind is: will mask mandates return to the United States?

For those opposed, a sigh of relief: it's high unlikely that President Biden would institute a mask mandate unless incredibly limited in scope.

The end of mask requirements across states and businesses in the US was met with such relief and joy that to reinstitute another mandate would likely end with political suicide. Biden's administration is aware of this peril, so even if they supported the premise behind mandates (which they've suggested in the past that they do not), they would be very unlikely to take that step.

However, COVID remains a problem. But unlike early 2020 and leading into the middle of 2021, it's no longer a sweepingly deadly problem. While pediatric hospitalizations remain disturbingly high and people are falling ill at a higher rate than they were last year, a combination of natural resistance among the population and an effective vaccination and booster system has turned a wave of deadliness into something to keep an eye on but not fear.

The CDC still recommends wearing masks in these circumstances:

  • In communities where COVID is present but at background (low) levels: People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended in indoor public transportation settings and may be required in other places by local or state authorities.
  • In communities where COVID spread is medium or high: If you are at high risk for getting very sick, wear a high-quality mask or respirator. If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.
  • In communities where COVID spread is high: Wear a high-quality mask or respirator. If you are high risk for getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

Combined strategic use of masks in limited situations along with up-to-date vaccination and booster standards give each community its best chance to keep COVID at a reasonably low level.