Masking Turnabout Met With Glee, Some Anxiety And A Whole Lot Of Questions
The CDC's sudden announcement prompted the fully vaccinated to ask if the pandemic is over for them. Others worry that it will create more confusion -- and continued confrontations -- over who is vaccinated and who is not.
America's Unmasking Brings Liberation But Also Trepidation As Huge Questions Loom
Americans stripped off their masks Thursday as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the sudden announcement that vaccinated people no longer need to wear them indoors or outdoors. It was a great moment of liberation after a year of intense stress and fear, but also one of trepidation for many as the policy created a whole new set of complex questions for parents, employers, business owners and the millions of Americans who are still hesitant to get shots. (Reston and Collinson, 5/14)
The New York Times:
What Does the New Mask Guidance Really Mean?
Does this mean masks are no longer recommended anywhere? Not quite. The federal guidance is expansive: Fully vaccinated people — those who have received their final Covid-19 vaccination at least two weeks ago — no longer need to wear masks outdoors or in most indoor settings. But there are limits. (Smith, Mervosh and Bosmna, 5/13)
Wait, Does This Mean The Pandemic Is Over For Vaccinated People?
Though he wouldn't go so far as to say the pandemic is over, for those who are fully vaccinated, the guideline change means a return to something very close to normalcy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN after the announcement. "Being able to go around without a mask, indoors as well as outdoors, is really a big step in that direction," Fauci said. "I wouldn't want to declare victory prematurely, but I'm saying this is clearly a step in the direction that we want to go." (Waldrop, 5/13)
The Washington Post:
Is It Now Reasonable To Discuss The End Of The Pandemic? Yes, But With Caveats.
For more than a year, everyone has wondered when this dreadful pandemic will end. The answer has always been “not for a long time.” That answer, however, has been overtaken by events — at least in the United States. The end of the pandemic may not be near, exactly, but it’s no longer rash, impolitic or scientifically dubious to broach the topic. (Achenbach, 5/13)
CDC Mask Guidance Opens Doors For The Vaccinated, But A Long Road Is Ahead For Those Who Are Not, Experts Say
For Americans vaccinated against Covid-19, daily life may look increasingly different than for those who aren't inoculated yet following Thursday's mask guidance, experts said. "We are on the right path that people who are fully immunized," National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CNN's Erin Burnett. "You can take your mask off indoors as well as outdoors." But he added: "We are not at the end of this story. There are still a lot of people who haven't gotten that shot." (Holcombe, 5/14)
The New York Times:
Hundreds Of Epidemiologists Expected Mask-Wearing In Public For At Least A Year
When federal health officials said on Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear masks in most places, it came as a surprise to many people in public health. It also was a stark contrast with the views of a large majority of epidemiologists surveyed in the last two weeks by The New York Times. In the informal survey, 80 percent said they thought Americans would need to wear masks in public indoor places for at least another year. Just 5 percent said people would no longer need to wear masks indoors by this summer. (Miller, Quealy and Sanger-Katz, 5/13)
The New York Times:
Should We Stash Our Masks For Cold And Flu Season?
Once Americans return to crowded offices, schools, buses and trains, so too will their sneezes and sniffles. Having been introduced to the idea of wearing masks to protect themselves and others, some Americans are now considering a behavior scarcely seen in the United States but long a fixture in other cultures: routinely wearing a mask when displaying symptoms of a common cold or the flu, even in a future in which Covid-19 isn’t a primary concern. (Victor and Ives, 5/13)