MILWAUKEE — The mask signs are still up at some locations in Milwaukee, including El Rey FoodMart. However, it is just a request, not a requirement.
Customer John Patton stopped by to pick up lunch at the deli counter. He sees both sides of the issue.
"For the nation to get over Covid, I'm all for it. Keep wearing masks," said Patton. "But at the same time if we are beating this thing, we're free as a bird."
It's been nearly two years since the pandemic started and it's impacted all of us in different ways.
Lavina Johnson is vaccinated and is comfortable wearing a mask.
"It's just an extra precaution," she says. "I have health issues and my kids have health issues. So for me, its like a double protection."
Liza Arroio was picking up a cake at El-Reye for an anniversary and was asked if she worries if the pandemic will end soon.
"I don't," she said.
For others like Mahmoud Alhaj , masks help protect loved ones with preexisting conditions.
"My mom is diabetic and if I get Covid, she could get it and (if I) transfer it to her, she's going to be sick," he says. "So, I would rather have the mask mandate. "
But for Patton, the thought of some day never having to wear a mask brings a big smile.
"Lord only knows I am," said Patton. "Just to be free to go here or there, and not worry about it."