The CDC has changed its COVID-19 facemask guidelines, saying it’s no longer necessary for fully-vaccinated people to wear masks in most outdoors situations, such as “when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household.”
Some might wonder why it was ever necessary for anyone to wear masks outdoors while walking, biking or running alone. Or why fully-vaccinated people should have to continue wearing masks at all.
One outdoor situation where nobody should have been forced to wear masks is athletic events where participants need to be able to take in oxygen. That’s a point that authorities seem to have belatedly received from the outraged blowback they got after a girls’ high school track member who was forced to wear a mask while running the 880 collapsed at the finish line. The infinitesimal risk of COVID to a healthy teenager was deemed greater than the risk of oxygen deprivation.
Thank God, the girl came to after being allowed to breathe freely and seems okay, although she’s still under observation in case she got a concussion from her fall.
While national authorities seem to want pandemic restrictions to drag on forever, as of Tuesday, 24 states have ended mask mandates, and except for rare hotspots such as Michigan, new cases continue to drop, despite the CDC head’s very scientific feeling of “impending doom” about another wave. In fact, one might think we’d be getting close to herd immunity, when you combine all the people who’ve had the virus and recovered, plus that 50% of the population have had at least one of the two vaccination shots (one-third are now fully vaccinated.)
Again, I do not take this disease lightly and urge you to take all reasonable precautions. But at what point do some precautions become unreasonable, and cause more harm than good? The mixed messages are also confusing the public. You can’t urge people to get vaccinated while sending the message that vaccination barely makes a difference in all the hardships you’ll have to keep enduring.
Instapundit offered a round-up of some of the conflicting messages. They also included a handy CDC chart complete with cartoons, to try to explain who should wear a mask in which situations. To entice you to look at it, I’ll mention that they also included a Babylon Bee parody of the chart (just to be clear, the parody is the one at the bottom.)
It was almost surreal to see President Biden speaking outdoors Tuesday without a mask on. I was pretty certain he’d be wearing one in his official presidential portrait. But I’m glad to see him without one for a change. Maybe oxygen deprivation to the brain was the reason for the policies he’s been backing since taking office.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy actually asked his spokesperson Jen Psaki why he was the only world leader wearing a mask during a recent Zoom summit. Her answer suggests that even the White House doesn’t understand the current government mask guidelines.
It’s this kind of confusing and contradictory advice and never-ending restrictions that are really to blame for many frustrated Americans taking Robert Downey’s lead by saying to heck with it, ripping off their masks and just declaring, “I’m Iron Man.” Let’s just hope they got vaccinated first.