Science and Health

Not Ready To Lose Your Mask Just Yet? Experts Say That's OK

The new CDC masking guidance says fully vaccinated people don't need them in many indoor and outdoor situations.

Not Ready To Lose Your Mask Just Yet? Experts Say That's OK

The new CDC masking rules say fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear them in many indoor and outdoor situations.

Kanzy Mazza, a Chicago resident, said, "I think a lot of people are over the masks.”

An L.A. resident said: “I love it. It’s like another world right now. I'm fully vaccinated myself Pfizer. I keep the mask just to here because some of the people feel uncomfortable."

But not everyone is suddenly ripping off their masks right away. Mariana Barros-Titus is one of them.

"It's difficult to know whether people are being as safe as you are. I have a sister-in-law who is expecting, and I'm just constantly cognizant of not wanting to put them at risk,” Barros-Titus said.

Sure, there’s the major factor of vaccinations, of course. But there’s also this psychological factor. For many of us, masks have become a bit of a security blanket. 

“We have to acknowledge the fact that our bodies might not respond to that intellectual and logical recommendation right away. So your family members might be ready to take their mask off and ready to follow the CDC guidelines as they've stated them, that you might have some hesitation and some anxiety and that's OK," said Dr. Aderonke Bamgbose Pederson from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Experts say pay attention to that and give yourself some slack. But if it comes to something like unmasking while going back to the office or seeing family, talk about how you’re feeling. And psych experts say even if you’re OK with going without a mask, if a friend or coworker isn’t, rushing them could make things more stressful.

“Living through a pandemic for over a year takes a toll on the mind and body,” said Sana Powell, a licensed professional counselor who goes by The Curly Therapist. 

"Have that conversation to say, here's my concerns, here's what I'm comfortable with and here's what I'm still really leery of," Dr. Eric French, medical director of Adult Psychiatry at Medical Center of Aurora, said. 

As for Mariana, she’s OK with waiting and seeing for now.  

"The only way I would really be comfortable, like, fully going off maskless would be if ... there was some sort of understanding that the rest of the country was really taking this seriously," she said. 

CNN contributed to this report.