Sometimes I wish I was still a child. Adult life can be infuriating.
This isn't responsibility, it's fear mongering. By advocating for reimposing mask mandates for everyone, including vaccinated folks, the CDC is casting doubt on the efficacy of the vaccines. They're compounding this by failing to be transparent with breakthrough infection data related to the delta variant.
If that's not the case, and if they are merely concerned about vaccinated people spreading COVID to unvaccinated individuals, then why did we lift the mandates and relax guidelines in the first place? It's not like we didn't know until last week that vaccinated people could spread COVID anyways.
Though if you were really paying attention, you'd notice I'm not complaining about masks. I still wear mine wherever folks ask.
My issue is with the false mentality we've been sold. "Get your shot and life goes back to normal!" we were told for months. Suddenly that's not the case. Now it's, "Even if you get your shot you'll be wearing masks anywhere we want."
What I want is for people to own up to reality and stop sugarcoating what they're saying. If they want us to live under pandemic conditions until new variants stop showing up then they need to say that. It's harder for people to cope with seeing repeated glimmers of light disappear as the tunnel is lengthened. At least if we're realistic about our goals people can mentally toughen up and rise to the challenge.
The vaccines are working, it’s mostly just that while the delta variant won’t make vaccinated people as sick, the can still spread it around. I have a sister who isn’t old enough to get the vaccine yet, and I don’t want to accidentally spread the delta variant to her, possibly killing her.
BECAUSE it's not 100%. An analogy: Toothbrushing works, but it's not 100%, so we also have regular dental visits.
And why a mandate? Because we're not just doing it for ourselves. If you personally decide that you don't mind the chance of getting Covid, that's one thing, but are you allowed to decide for your family, neighbors, coworkers -- and especially the medical workers who've been worked into the ground for more than a year and a half?
For context: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(21)00068-0/fulltext
I'm really not arguing against the new restrictions here, dude. I'm trying gauge what our mentality needs to be for the next few years. Up until now it was, "This will end when we get the vaccine out to those who want it."
Yet we knew a delta-style mutation was entirely possible. We observed delta crush India's healthcare system and yet continued on our, "It'll be over by the 4th of July!" path. Then it got here, did exactly what a more contagious variant should be expected to do, and we're all pretending to be surprised.
So what next? Mask mandates for the short term, vaccine mandates for the Feds and big companies (at least, this is on the horizon). Will we pretend to be on the verge of winning and normal life again? Will we start the dirge of, "prepare to wear masks no matter what until variants stop appearing?"
At this rate I can see us trapped in an exhausting cycle for years on end.
You ask very good questions. Here's my two cents, maybe only two farthings.
It seems to me that from a world-historical perspective, we might be returning to normal rather than entering a NEW heinous phase. Ever since people began living bunched together in cities, they've experienced generational waves of infectious diseases. (The Great Plague of 1347-1352 was just the first and most severe of many recurrences, and in between times there were periodic waves of small pox et alia.)
We didn't grow up experiencing that because of the technological innovations of vaccines and antibiotics, but now there are so many humans, so interconnected, and so disrupting nature's reservoirs of disease that we'll probable see more waves of disease.
I don't despair, though. Our tools are much better than our ancestors had 700 years ago, from gene sequencing to communicating about disease, to the ability to mass-produce hand soap and face masks. Maybe this will produce lasting cultural changes that will help us resist diseases. Personally, I wouldn't mind moving to bowing rather than shaking hands and wearing a mask when I have a cold -- both very normal in a number of East Asian cultures.
I admit I'm a diehard midwesterner and will never abandon the handshake...just wash your hands or use GermX afterwards! I carry one in my car at all times and never touch my face without using that. Trying to lead by example...
As for wearing a mask, well, that's hard. Humans need to see faces in order to communicate. At a psychological level, but also because many nuanced nonverbal communication is done using the face even during verbal conversation.
I genuinely and fervently believe that if everyone stayed home when they felt sick and always washed hands, avoided touching their face, and always covered their mouth and nose with their elbow when they coughed or sneezed that society would be massively healthier. It's just a matter of getting everyone to do it...
I agree on all of those precautions! However, given the state of our national healthcare and service sector, most people working in food service and retail WON'T stay home when they're sick -- they can't afford to.