Many Californians plan to keep the masks on even when not required

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Thursday, June 17, 2021
Many Californians plan to keep the masks on
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While California this week lifted many of its mask requirements, some people say they feel comfortable continuing to keep their faces covered.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The mandatory mask mandate has been lifted, with some exceptions, as California officially reopened Tuesday, but you would not know it to look around.

At the M & M Deli in Riverside, customers streamed in to order lunch with their masks on.

"You are the black sheep if you aren't wearing a mask I guess," said Chris Gomez.

For customer Erica Meza, it was about being considerate of those working behind the counter to prepare her lunch.

"Help them out. That way they feel they're safe around us," said Meza.

While the state has lifted its mandate requiring all Californians to wear masks indoors, there are still restrictions that remain.

Those who are unvaccinated are asked to continue wearing masks in indoor settings, such as stores and restaurants.

Also masks will still be required - vaccinated or not - on public transit, in hospitals and other healthcare settings, in schools, prisons and homeless shelters.

Whether to be socially accepted or considerate of others wearing a mask has become a habit that may be hard to break.

An Eyewitness News poll conducted by Survey USA found that 64% of people said they would continue to wear a mask in indoor public places even when not required to. Another 24% said they would not wear one while 12% were unsure.

"We've been in this for such a long time that I think it is common for us to continue wearing it as a measure of safety and protection," said Glenn Scott, director of Loma Linda University Behavior Health.

Trust may be another reason why many of us will continue to wear a mask.

"I really feel unsafe and because you don't know if they are vaccinated... after I get my two shots, I gonna still wear my mask," said Liliana Flores.

The end of the mask mandate has many people holding on to wearing a mask until there are sure signs the pandemic is behind us.

"I think trust will be reestablished but right now we're not quite there yet," said Scott.