FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The CDC’s announcement that vaccinated people are safe to ditch their masks is leaving high-risk families in Northwest Arkansas to rely on you for protection.
Azaylee, 6, has cystic fibrosis — a very rare genetic disorder in which the lungs and digestive system get clogged with mucus.
Her mother, Amy Hickman, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on the family.
We’ve definitely been staying at home, for the most part.AMY HICKMAN, DAUGHTER HAS CYSTIC FIBROSIS
Hickman said it’s been equally as tough on Azaylee’s 14-year-old brother, Zayde.
“I would say he’s probably made the most sacrifices,” she said. “Missing out on a lot of social activities and getting to hang out with his friends and just doing your typical teenage boy stuff.”
Both Hickman and her husband are fully vaccinated and Zayde is partially, but they still wear their masks when out in public.
As a little bit of protection but also as just an example of we’re not quite where we need to be yet.AMY HICKMAN, DAUGHTER HAS CYSTIC FIBROSIS
With the CDC’s updated mask guidance, where people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask indoors and outdoors, Family Physician Dr. Blake Hansen said we’re at a place where the honor system is key.
“This is where we need to do the common curtsey of — if you’re not vaccinated, wear the mask because there might be somebody who has cystic fibrosis,” he said.
This means families like the Hickman’s have to trust and rely on you for protection.
“Whether that means wearing masks, getting vaccinated if possible, looking out for each other, and just making overall good choices and good decisions, until we are where we need to be,” Hickman said.