I have been trying to come up with a concise statement to explain the recent change in the CDC mask regulations for folks going into public places. I wanted something simple, yet eloquent that took any confusion out of the decision.
Satchel’s BBQ is the ultimate small business restaurant in Ann Arbor, and has great food. They were hit hard by the pandemic and had to close one of their locations. Fortunately for all of us they survived.
Their commentary on masking wound up in my inbox, and it was a perfect summary of the issues. I reproduce it below, and if you ever get to Ann Arbor, look them up at 3035 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104!
Subject: To Mask Or Not To Mask…..That Is the Question
At Satchel’s BBQ I think we are all feeling a bit like Hamlet these days. For the last year, the watchwords for many of us have been “safe” and “cautious”. But last Thursday’s announcement by the Center for Disease Control that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask in any setting” feels like a watershed moment. Governor Whitmer followed suit and modified our state’s mandate the following day.
The question many businesses (and individuals) now face is whether to remain safe and cautious (and continue to require masks) or to follow the guidance of the CDC and modify that mandate. Satchel’s has decided to lift the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals. If you have been fully vaccinated for more than two weeks, you are no loner required to wear a mask in the restaurant.
We have tried to display an abundance of caution throughout the pandemic, protecting staff and customers alike. We required masks. We sanitized anything that didn’t move (and some things that did move!) We screened employees for symptoms daily. And it worked. There have been no known infections amongst the staff or customers at Satchel’s during the pandemic.
Oh, and one more thing. We got vaccinated. The entire staff at Satchel’s has either been fully vaccinated or is midway through the process. Like many of you, we weighed the pros and cons of getting the vaccine, and ultimately decided it was well worth the risk. The CDC’s recent announcement seems to simply state what scientists and researchers have been telling us: the vaccine works.
Which brings us back to Hamlet. More than anything, we want to be safe and cautious, for our own sake as well as for others in our community. But if you think the vaccine works (and we do), then shouldn’t we act like we believe the vaccine works? And based on what we know at this moment in time, that means discarding the mask. By doing so, not only do we enhance our own lives, but we serve as encouragement for the unvaccinated to reconsider their decision.
To those who are fully vaccinated but still wish to wear a mask for additional protection, that is your choice, and believe me when I say, we get it. After the year we have had, who can blame anyone for wanting to be extra-cautious? You are more than welcome to visit us at Satchel’s where you will be greeted with enthusiasm and warmth.
To those who have chosen not to get vaccinated at this time, that also is your choice, and you too are more than welcome at Satchel’.s We simply ask that you follow state law and wear a mask while inside the restaurant.