SURVEY SAYS: To Mask or Not to Mask

PLANSPONSOR NewsDash readers share their approach to wearing masks following new CDC guidance.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you feel comfortable with the CDC’s guidance about masks, and have you dropped the mask in certain situations?”

Fifty-eight percent of responding readers work in a plan sponsor role, 21% are recordkeepers/TPAs/investment consultants, 15% are advisers/consultants, 2% are attorneys and 4% are CPAs.

More than seven in 10 respondents (71%) indicated they feel comfortable with and confident in the CDC’s guidance about wearing masks.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents forego wearing a mask everywhere it is not required by law or a business. Twelve percent have shed the mask only in situations where they know everyone is vaccinated, while 15% have done so only outdoors and 4% forego wearing a mask only outdoors and where they know everyone else is vaccinated. Another 4% said they still wear a mask in every situation in which they wore one before the new guidance.

There were so many differing views among those readers who decided to leave comments. It is very reflective of the debate we all hear in the media every day. No Editor’s Choice this week. A big thank you to all who participate in our survey!


My employer brought in the head of infectious disease from a prominent nationally known health system to speak to employees about the vaccine and safety as we plan our return to the office. That was a great benefit and has increased my confidence.

Masks are now optional in our manufacturing and office facilities. We have only had one positive case in the last month and it was not contracted at work.

I am fully vaccinated. I maintain my distance when indoors and wash my hands frequently. I feel generally safe with that practice.

I have been to Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. Both are packed with people comfortable not wearing masks.

You have to do what you are comfortable doing. Each person is different.

I am in the Midwest portion of the county. As soon as the CDC guidance came out, masks disappeared very quickly in our area. We are in a medium sized city, but not densely populated, and folks were ready to return to “normal” as soon as it was reasonable to do so. Business meetings have mostly resumed with handshake greetings. Restaurants are very busy again. It feels good!

I still wear a mask indoors where there are many people present-like the grocery store. I notice I’m not alone in that. I think it will take a while before I’ll feel comfortable not wearing a mask in that situation.

Since one can’t know everyone around you is vaccinated, I can’t let the mask go completely.

I am ready to live again. 🙂 Fear cannot stop us from enjoying life…. I am not going to miss out on spending time with my children and grandchildren. My grandchildren light up every room they enter and that is the life we all need to live and enjoy.

I’m pretty much done with masks. The guidance has always been confusing and too often changing. If a business requires a mask, I simply don’t enter the building. If some folks want to wear one that’s fine, but I’m not living in fear.

Since there is a chance that even fully vaccinated people can catch COVID-19, and I’m not thoroughly convinced that they are not able to retransmit it, I’d rather be more conservative and considerate of others who may be immuno-compromised by continuing to wear my mask for their protection. Knowing that the mask does not protect ME, I still have a greater level of comfort while masking and social distancing in indoor public places where I have no way of knowing if others are vaccinated.

I am getting closer to not wearing a mask. I bring them whereever I go; if I am inside a store as an example and no one is around me, I take the mask off. If it is busy, I leave it on. I am fully vaccinated and hang out with friends and family who are as well. Nothing wrong with being careful as COVID is not gone forever.

I feel confident in the CDC’s guidance, but I don’t feel confident that unvaccinated people are following it. For that reason, I will continue to mask up in public.

As there were folks that did not want to wear masks before vaccination began, my concern is that since no one is confirming if people are vaccinated, that non-vaccinated people are going without masks and, therefore, potentially spreading COVID-19. Even though the vaccine seems to be effective, people may still get sick from COVID-19 even if vaccinated, and why run the risk.

The CDC is as honest and trustworthy as the media. In other words, they are power-hungry delusional idiots. Only a small percentage of masks are properly designed to be effective against airborne viruses, and the masks that the majority of society are wearing probably spread germs more than if you were not wearing a mask.

There are numerous studies (few of them, of course, covered by the media) that show that wearing a mask has absolutely no effect on preventing Covid-19. To the contrary, wearing a mask is more likely to cause or exacerbate other forms of pulmonary disease. I understand that many people are afraid, and they are welcome to wear a mask as long as they wish. After all, before Covid, it was not at all unusual to see immunocompromised people wearing masks. But I do not plan to wear a mask unless it is required.

I am not comfortable due to the evil eye I get NOT the health concerns

I’m a person who identifies as being vaccinated even though I haven’t actually been vaccinated. Vaccination is a spectrum and you are a bigot if don’t accept me for who I am!

I’ve been going without a mask anywhere I have been able to. Our company recently discontinued wearing masks and I am ecstatic!!! I’m free again, except if I go to the doctor.

For those who are truly vaccinated I feel comfortable. It’s those who say they are “identifying as vaccinated” that I’m worried about (and deeply disappointed in).

Frankly I am not sure we didn’t have the wool pulled over our eyes along with the mask over our noses and mouths.

too soon

My comments on masks are likely not printable, so I’ll just forego this part.

I don’t trust the general public to only go maskless when they’ve been fully vaccinated, so I still wear a mask to stores and do not yet feel comfortable going to a restaurant that is fully opened (meaning tables are not socially distanced).

I don’t and have not worn a mask unless I had to in a business. The mask has been proven not to offer any protection. Ref to “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” Stanford University. It is an extensive study that has proven the mask offers little protection. The CDC originally said facemasks were not necessary but got push back so they changed their stance, as did the “beloved” Dr. Fauci.

I don’t want to remove my mask in public, indoors and outdoors (even though I am vaccinated), because I do worry about unvaccinated people not following the guidance and removing their masks simply because they find them inconvenient. Given this guidance is based on trust, my own perception is that those whose tendency to resist the vaccine is also to resist mask use, and it is those people that make me want to keep wearing a mask. That said, I also wonder about the perception of me still wearing a mask, perhaps being viewed as unvaccinated and potentially subject to negative comments by vaccinated people. The guidance is lacking, I wish there was a better way to monitor vaccinated from unvaccinated with respect to mask use. That or just keep the mask mandate in place. It’s really not THAT inconvenient.

I am not quite comfortable not wearing a mask indoors, even though I have been vaccinated. My understanding is I could still carry the virus back to my grandkids who have not been vaccinated.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) or its affiliates.