Philadelphia Rescinding Indoor Mask Mandate Less than One Week After it Went Back into Effect

Well that was quick. Philadelphia’s indoor mask mandate, which only just went into effect this week, is once again being lifted.

From Michael Tanenbaum at Philly Voice:

A spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed Thursday night that the city will rescind the city’s mask mandate. The Board of Health voted Thursday to reverse course just four days after the mandate took effect. 

“Due to decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts, the city will move to strongly recommending masks in indoor public spaces as opposed to a mask mandate,” deputy communications directory Sarah Peterson said. “Given the latest data, the BOH voted to rescind the mandate.”

Nobody was following the guidelines anyway, which weren’t being enforced. Every crowd shot from the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night showed maybe 10-15% of people wearing masks. Most of the masked people inside the arena were workers, like ushers, team employees, media, folks at the stats table, etc. You can believe whatever you want to believe about mask wearing, but the mandate was useless without enforcement.

There’s also this from the Voice article:

Kenney chalked mask resistance up to selfishness.

“I’m sad to say that this nation has devolved into a selfish bunch who want what they want for themselves and are sometimes not willing to help each other out as Americans,” the mayor said.

There was certainly a vocal minority of anti-mask types, but RE: a more moderate majority of Americans, I think people simply have fatigue from the constant mandate/rescind/mandate/rescind cycle. We’ve been in the pandemic for more than two years now. There’s an overwhelmingly large portion of middle ground America that was perfectly fine wearing masks, and they followed the guidelines and got vaccinated and tried to do the right thing to help out and be a decent person. Those people didn’t become selfish overnight, they’re just worn out by poor leadership, a lack of clear direction, and a constant fluctuation in approach.

Time’s yours.