TLDR: Why are people more strict about masks than they are about talking during services?
As a matter of policy the board at my synagogue has decided to stop enforcing masks since most members are now vaccinated and the local government has lifted most restrictions. Most other synagogues in my area have also stopped enforcing masks or plan to stop by Shavuot. Of course, those who choose to still wear are free to do so.
This past Shabbat two friends started arguing during services. They took their argument into the hallway. One was anti-further enforcement and the other wanted him to wear a mask. Their conversation migrated into the sanctuary (which was still in the midst of services). Even though they were talking in a low volume, it was still audible.
I walked up to them both and said “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I don’t understand how people can be more machmir about masks in shul than they are about talking in shul” and walked away. They got the idea and stopped.
I’m not perfect myself, but talking is one thing I try to not do as best I can because it bothers me when others do it, and I feel there’s a real epidemic of talking in shul.
Ironically, the anti-enforcment’s argument was mainly that people have taken mask wearing and enforcement to a level that parallels avodah zarah. But ultimately they were both in the wrong.