CARROLL COUNTY (WJZ) — Maryland’s positivity rate and number of hospitalizations continue to go down, leading many counties to lift mask mandates. So many people want to see life go back to normal and the majority of people want to see life return to normal.

However, doctors are warning of new variants and encouraging precautionary measures, saying getting back to normal is possible if we keep our safety protocols in place.

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“Yes, there will probably be more variants. Whether or not vaccines will work against them, whether or not they will be more contagious, more serious, we don’t know,” said Dr. Dr. Esti Schabelman, chief medical officer at Sinai Hospital said. “But in the meantime we can do our best to prevent that from happening as often,” referring to hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing as sure fire ways to stop or limit the spread of infection.

Carroll County residents spoke to WJZ on Friday. Brooke Massicot said, “We’ve kind of gotten to the point where everyone is pretty much tired of it.”

Wade Kemper agreed “We’ve all been vaccinated, we’ve all been boosted and we all still got it. It wasn’t terrible, but I’m kind of over it,” he said.

Kemper added he wants to see schools drop mask mandates, aching for life to go back to pre-pandemic times. “I’m not tearing my life apart just to avoid getting a head cold because it really wasn’t bad. I’ve had the flu way worse than COVID was and maybe it’s because I was vaccinated, I don’t even know at this point,” he said.

Massicot said many people in her circle contracted Omicron when it first hit the area and she’s happy everyone is healthy now. She said each family needs to decide for themselves what practices are best.

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“I’m at the point where people know what they need to do,” she said.

We spoke to another woman, wearing a mask as she walked into the grocery store and she said she still takes precautions.

“Wearing a mask, and making sure I use hand sanitizer, and I haven’t gotten it,” she said.

Dr. Schabelman said we’re getting to a point where we can live with the virus.

“I don’t know when that will be, but I think it’s coming soon,” he said.

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Medical companies are working on a pan-coronavirus vaccine that will protect against many strains of the virus and end the pandemic once and for all, he said.

Rachael Cardin