They were all relieved when the child tested negative in time. “But after all that, we go to the airport to drop them off and nobody, nobody, is wearing a mask,” said Dr. Caplan. “We’re killing each other here so my kid can go to camp and everyone’s still like, ‘It’s over, isn’t it?'”
In Illinois, Rachel Hoopsick takes her two children to preschool in the mornings despite concerns that their vaccinations aren’t perfect protection against the coronavirus and one of them is medically vulnerable.
Then Dr. Hoopsick, an assistant professor of kinesiology and community health, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches a large class (including many unmasked students) about public health measures (like masks) that can curb the spread of infectious diseases.
Life feels like an exercise in double thinking, she said. “To participate in society now,” she said, “you have to either be blissfully unconscious or distance yourself and move on as if there wasn’t a pandemic.”
On a sunny weekend day at his maple syrup and candy stand at a freeway rest stop in upstate New York, Chris Smith, 67, donned a mask as customers approached wearing masks.
But he has long since stopped worrying about his own health. Medical science has defeated the coronavirus, he said, comparing it to the flu – “here forever” but not as dangerous as it was before vaccines and treatments arrived.
“Now I think if I get it, at least they have an idea how to save me,” said Mr. Smith of White Creek, NY.