My mom has been receiving wonderful care in the hospital where she’s been spending the last few days. The only issue is that with the hearing problem and with her old age, she’s having a difficult problem communicating.

Yes, New Jersey hospitals and doctor's offices still have the mask-wearing requirement in most cases. There are different variations of it. I believe some hospitals have made a rule that only in patients’ rooms does one need to wear a mask. Some others say all patient areas require masks.

Yet that’s the most ironic and frustrating part of this whole mask thing. Patient care requires communication and understanding. And the mask has been the biggest obstacle in this for my mom and any other patients with communication issues, I’m sure.

Almost daily, Mom gets asked a question by a nurse or a hospital employee that she cannot understand. They ask several times, each time louder and louder until inevitably, that caring nurse or other healthcare professional has to pull down his or her mask and shout directly into my mom‘s face.

READ MORE: Murphy says masks no longer required in health care settings

If masks were really doing anything at this point, no healthcare worker would dare to pull the mask down. Yet their hands are tied. This silly masking requirement, a holdover from the scary early days of the pandemic, still stands.

Michele Ursi GettyImages
Michele Ursi GettyImages

Big news was made a couple of weeks ago when Gov. Murphy decided to drop the COVID-19 testing mandate for healthcare workers, an onerous rule that caused the loss of so many dedicated hospital employees. And that was a step forward, but enough with the masks in the hospitals and doctor's offices.

One of the most important parts of healthcare, especially when it comes to caring nurses is the meaningful relationship they establish with patients. So at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this communication problem was inevitable. But why is this still happening?

I have visited hospitals and doctors' offices in New York City that have dropped the mask requirement. And it’s time for us to do the same. Especially after the CDC itself, America’s Church and Clergy when it came to COVID-19, has even declared masking should no longer be required in healthcare settings.

Normally we follow New York when it comes to COVID-19 protocol. Why have we not gotten with it? Is this a Murphy power play? What’s going on?

In February, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, known to be a stickler for COVID protocols and the whole “Masks save lives” theory, dropped the healthcare settings mask mandate. Why are we still doing this?

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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New Jersey puts out an itemized list for retailers that spells out what is, and what is not, taxed. 
Perhaps because this is New Jersey, there are some bizarre and seemingly contradictory listings. 

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The towns are listed from the biggest cut in the average bill to the highest increase. On the county maps, the deeper red color means a higher increase above 2% whereas the darker green signifies a smaller increase or a reduction.

Each listing also shows how the average tax bill is split among the county, school and municipal governments.

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