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This is a pivotal moment in the pandemic. A lot of anxiety and confusion during the year converges in our relationship with masks, which has become about much more than just blocking mists. Mask mandates are being lifted across the country as COVID-19 cases decline. The overall threat of the pandemic suddenly appears to be a flash on the national radar, thanks to a massive vaccination campaign and a deep-seated desire to talk about absolutely nothing else. When the CDC Advised Two weeks ago, vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks, indoors or out, the change across New York City was almost instantaneous. Nationally, move on Associated Bump in vaccine demand.
For some, this is upsetting, and even frightening – especially for those who have not yet been vaccinated, who are experiencing post-traumatic stress concerns after life-threatening episodes with COVID-19, or are at risk of complications. The epidemic is not over, and the past year has seen a barrage of experts insist that masks save lives. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In public places, it is impossible to know who has been vaccinated. Many companies have it Choose to continue Requires masks on the inside while some others he does not have.
It is true, from a purely scientific perspective, that people are vaccinated It does not seem that They pose a real danger to others, or to themselves, if they ditch the mask. We haven’t seen quite a number of dangerous ones Breakthrough cases, And people are vaccinated Does not seem to To serve as Asymptomatic Procrastinates Of the disease. But there are real tensions between mask science and mask guidelines. From Guideline Perspective, the existence of different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people creates a minefield for public places, companies and other institutions where employees do not have any way to distinguish between who is vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated. The school system may be able to verify the immune status of its students and faculty, But the restaurant or grocery store can’t sort everyone who comes in from the door.
This led to heated debate and fueled instincts to take blame. Is the CDC too vague, too progressive, or simply careless in its advice? Should local governments intervene with clear directions? Are companies supposed to decide for themselves and enforce the rules however they want? Do these decisions involve responsibility? Are we looking for definitive answers that do not exist?
This gap between science and guidelines is not new. It is a constant source of public health friction. Take, for example, the recommendation we’re training for 150 minutes Week, or men limit themselves to it Two alcoholic drinks day. These numbers are not holy by God. You will likely be exercising for an hour every day Even better For the sake of our health, as with limiting alcohol intake to one or no drink, rather than two. But the guidelines aim to consider what is practical and doable for people in a real-world context, as opposed to the pure dictates of an ideal physiology or toxicology. If you advise people that dental treatment is the only correct way, or that they need to spend all day in the gym, they may raise their hands and do none of that.
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