While Ige also said he would consider reinstituting the mask policy “if needed,” it’s very hard to imagine Hawaii — or any other state — going back to a mandatory masking policy.
What’s remarkable is the pace with which states — those led by Republican governors, but also those with Democratic governors — started to drop their mask mandates after an Omicron-fueled surge in cases this winter.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom very publicly declared that his state was moving to the “next phase” of dealing with Covid-19 in mid-February.
That rush among even Democratic governors to drop mask mandates reflects, yes, the drastically lower case numbers. But it is also proof that even for those most tolerant and supportive of mask-wearing, patience has run out.
In the third year of Covid-19, people are done with it — and acting accordingly.
Given that, it’s hard to imagine any politician — no matter their party — insisting on another mask mandate, even if cases do surge at some point.
The Point: Over the past two years, masks became the biggest symbol of not just our battle against the virus, but also our own political views. Now it seems everyone agrees that it’s time to take them off — for good.