Wondering why so many people are still wearing masks? So were we.


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — For more than a year people were told when and where to wear a mask.

Now — in what felt like the blink of an eye — masking up is mostly optional if you’re fully vaccinated. But still, some continue to play it safe.

“There’s a lot of confusion about if you’re not wearing a mask, does that mean that you are vaccinated or you don’t believe in mask wearing, those are two very different things” said Elizabeth Hall, a communications professor at Michigan State University. “The thing about wearing masks or not in public — it’s really hard to know how people are interpreting your behavior.”

Hall is an expert in communicatoin and says there’s a number of reasons people might still want to mask up. It could be they don’t trust eveyryone around them is vaccinated. Maybe they enjoy the privacy it gives them.

But Hall says one thing is for sure — they’re making decisions subconciously.

“We certainly take our cues from our social environment,” she said. “So when you go to the store and most people are still wearing masks or you go to different stores and almost no one is wearing a mask, we really do take those cues into consideration for our own behavior.”

However, that’s not true for everyone. One mother from Lansing, Rebecca Sylvester, says she isn’t letting peer pressure lead her.

“I feel like now that I’m vaccinated I feel like I can not wear a mask, but I’m getting hostility, looks, things like that,” Sylvester said. “I feel like this is what we’re supposed to be doing, now that I’m fully vaccinated, at what point can we quit wearing a mask?”

Hall says this is all part of humans adjusting. And just like everybody was able to adjust to the pandemic, the same will happen in reverse.

“I imagine in a couple of weeks, in a month it will feel a lot more comfortable — a lot more the new norm — people just take time to adjust,” Hall said. “The beauty of humans are is we’re very resilient and we do adjust.

“We will be okay and this will all feel okay soon enough.”

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