We're going in the wrong direction in the battle against COVID.
That's what Dr. Anthony Fauci said over the weekend, when suggesting masking recommendations may need to be brought back, even for those who are fully vaccinated.
"I think we're getting to a point of, you know, are we going to walk around with masks for the next hundred years?!" teacher David Bourdeau asked Monday.
While some are frustrated with the prospect of having to mask up again after so many months unmasked, others think it makes sense, with breakthrough cases on the rise in Massachusetts and around the country.
"People who aren't vaccinated, they're taking advantage of not wearing a mask," said Mardochee Estimavle of Worcester.
"One of the schools I go to has changed the rules, but I still wear my mask. I just want to, like, be safe," said 7-year-old Alexander O'Brien of Ashland.
Infectious disease physician Dr. Sabrina Assoumou of Boston Medical Center said that, while she believes those who are vaccinated generally don't need to wear a mask, there are definitely exceptions to the rule.
"With a larger group of people whose vaccination status you do not know, these are the cases where, you know, masking even if you're vaccinated could make some sense," Dr. Assoumou said.
Some hope this masking suggestion doesn't have an unintended chilling effect on vaccination rates.
"Realizing that, after getting vaccinated, now you need masks, it's definitely going to have people also wonder if being vaccinated was the right thing to do," said Seth Anane of Worcester.
"It may feel like as if we've worked so hard, but we're still in the same place, and having to suggest we need to wear masks again. But, you know, think of it as something temporary that we need to do to get over this hump right now," Assoumou said.
She stressed that being outdoors is always best to reduce the spread of COVID, whether you're masked or unmasked.