America's new mask divide
America has a new divide.
Driving the news: Many joyfully embraced Tuesday as the first full day of new mask freedom. But plenty are sticking with a practice that's now 2+ years old.
State of play: Airlines and many airports dropped their mask rules, AP reports.
- Many big cities kept mask requirements on mass transit, including New York, Chicago and L.A. Others ditched the rules, such as D.C., Atlanta and Kansas City.
- Amtrak and Uber dropped their rules. Uber said passengers can return to the front seat.
Many parents fear for their kids who are too young for vaccines.
- "Here we are, trapped in the sky with our 8-month-old unmasked baby," tweeted Brooke Tansley of Nashville, who was on a plane when the rules changed mid-flight.
Between the lines: "For many flight attendants, the lifting of the mandate brought relief," The New York Times reports. "Flight crews have faced a surge in threats and violence ... over the past two years."
The bottom line: President Biden said that it's "up to them" for people to decide whether to wear masks.
Reality check: Maybe don’t throw away those masks. America entered last summer with similar hope and optimism — which was then dashed by the Delta variant.