First of all, I’m getting on a plane later this week. My first time home to Texas in over two years. I’m excited to see friends and family. It’s been too long.
I have taken some trips during the pandemic. Always masked on the plane. It’s a bit of a pain, but doable. I do recall a flight attendant waking me up to make sure I was wearing my mask. I was on my side facing away. I was wearing the mask, by the way. Never went back to sleep. It was a long flight over the Atlantic.
This all leads me to the news that a federal judge has struck down the mask mandate for planes and public transit. The nation’s major airlines dropped their mask requirement within hours of the ruling.
Here’s how it happened. The Health Freedom Defense Fund had filed a lawsuit challenging the CDC’s mask mandate.
In Tampa, Judge Kathryn Mizelle ruled for the health advocacy group and against the U.S. Government.
Quite simply, Judge Mizelle said the CDC had exceeded its legal authority.
Now, what? Well, the T.SA. said it would no longer enforce the mask mandate. The White House isn’t happy.
The mask mandate was supposed to expire yesterday anyway. The administration had just extended it another two weeks. Now, they have to decide if they will appeal.
The New York Times reports that the ruling leaves it up to individual airlines and local transit agencies to decide what to do.
The airlines reacted quickly. In fact, some people found out mid-flight. Flight attendants made the announcement. Some took them off immediately. Others left them on.
Our reporter at Tampa International Airport says, from what she can tell, it’s half and half. Half wearing masks, the other half not.
I love what the guy said about all this at the airport too. “I think everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. And I think people have to be patient with one another, and that’s the big issue today. A lot of people get very, very angry. If you can’t be patient, don’t travel, you know?”
Most of the places I go these days no longer require masks. Maybe none of them. I do always keep one with me though. Still have some Covid anxiety.
I’m not sure if I’ll wear a mask when I fly to Texas in a few days. I’m glad I have the option. Mostly though, I’m excited about going home.
It’s funny, I’ve been away from Paris, Texas, far longer than I was there. It’s still the place I call home. Guess I always will.