McDonald's has announced that it is now requiring masks for everyone entering its restaurants.

According to the story from Reuters, the requirement will be enforced in its domestic restaurants in parts of the country with areas of "substantial transmission" of the coronavirus.

Until today, all McDonald's employees were required to wear masks, and anyone entering its restaurants who were not vaccinated was asked to mask up as well. From today forward, everyone must be masked.

Why is McDonald's having to bring back its mask mandate? I would guess that it's because of the coronavirus: Delta variant.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is beginning to wreak havoc on health care systems in several cities in Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards, in today's press conference, announced a mask mandate for the state of Louisiana which requires everyone above the age of 5 to be masked when indoors.

Today, I am reinstating Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate indoors for all people ages 5 & up as COVID-19 cases & hospitalizations continue to rise across Louisiana, threatening the ability of hospitals to deliver care. - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

As states reconsider mask mandates, frustrations grow over vaccination rates and mask usage. Many health care professionals are seeing increased levels of COVID admissions in hospitals that, they say, could have been avoided.

Upwards of 90% of all new COVID cases in Louisiana and 85% of COVID deaths between July 15 - 21, 2021, were unvaccinated people. 89% of the COVID patients hospitalized in Louisiana are unvaccinated, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Louisiana's vaccination rate, as of today, is at 37.1%, near the bottom of the list in the United States.

Some who are vaccinated and who gladly wear their masks are becoming frustrated by those who refuse both.

One term that keeps popping up on social media during discussions about masks and vaccines is "freedom". For example: "It's a free country, they can't force me to wear a mask!". "Go ahead and take that vaccine, you sheep. Before you know it, the rest of your freedoms will be gone."

Look, I get it: you love your freedom. I love my freedom, too, but freedom isn't free. Freedom isn't you doing whatever you want whenever you want if what you are doing is negatively affecting the health of your whole country. Freedom comes with responsibility.

Your responsibility is to not drag society two steps back each time we take one step closer to the end of the pandemic.

Health care professionals are recommending masking and vaccinating.

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