ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks, but some people are still choosing to wear one in public places which has caused some uncomfortable situations. At the beginning of the pandemic, people were shamed for wearing masks, now the tables seem to have turned and when people aren’t wearing a mask they get some looks.
“Most people have them, and then there are some without them, and those people kind of just stand out,” said Andres Ramirez, a customer at Walmart.
As more New Mexicans continue to get vaccinated, many people KRQE News 13 saw grocery shopping throughout the metro Monday were still masked up. With grocery stores like Smith’s and Lowes Neighborhood Market on 12th and Lomas still requiring people to wear masks at all times.
That isn’t the policy at Walmart which allows customers to go maskless if they’re fully vaccinated. KRQE News 13 crews saw most of the people in the store were wearing masks and it was just a couple of people not wearing masks getting some strange looks.
One man said he’s fully vaccinated and feels comfortable living life without a mask.
“Well, it’s a relief, it really is a relief, it’s like when I was able to throw my neckties away because I didn’t have to have neckties,” said Loren Dunbar, who was shopping at Walmart. “It just felt good, one less thing.”
Other shoppers say they’re fully vaccinated and said they’ll probably continue to wear masks for the next few weeks until they feel more comfortable to take them off. Many of them said they don’t trust the honor system, having to believe whether people are actually vaccinated.
Many fully vaccinated customers said they’ll only go maskless if they’re outside, eating and drinking or if they’re with close friends and family who are also fully vaccinated. All of the employees at stores visited Monday were still wearing masks. KRQE also created a poll to see if people were comfortable with going into stores and businesses without a mask.