Yesterday, the Biden Administration lifted indoor masking requirements in most places for vaccinated folks, which more or less opened the door for adults to stop wearing masks (the unvaccinated still include school children, so I hope to God that schools don’t start dropping mask requirements until all children are vaccinated).
What does this mean? Probably what you think it means for most of you: You’ll have to make your own risk assessments, which will probably be determined by where you are, who you are with, and the social pressures around you, depending on your political environment. I would say, you know: If you’re among vaccinated friends, you can be a little more chill. If there’s a danger an unvaccinated person might invade your space, wear a mask. In either respect, keep a mask with you at all times just in case.
This is true whether you’re vaccinated or not. And I’ll tell you why: There haven’t been that many reports of break-through cases, relatively speaking. But reports of break-through cases likely do not reflect the reality of break-through cases, because most break-through cases will not be reported. Why? Because they’re almost always asymptomatic. Vaccinated folks with COVID-19 may not even know it unless they are regularly tested.
You know who gets regularly tested, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not? Celebrities and athletes. That may be why we’re starting to see reports of break-through cases with them. This week, for instance, Bill Maher had to cancel the taping of Real Time with Bill Maher (a real bummer for our contrarian asshole friends) because he tested positive for COVID-19. He had been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, somewhat more concerning is the fact that eight folks involved with the New York Yankees organization (talk about assholes) have tested positive despite all being fully vaccinated. Seven of those eight were asymptomatic, while one only experienced mild symptoms for a brief couple of days.
What does that tell me? It tells me that, mask or no mask, the best thing to do is get your vaccination, which is why the Biden Administration lifted the mask mandate in the first place. It had hoped by doing so, it could apply some more pressure to get vaccinated (I honestly kind of like Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s strategy, which is a weekly $1 million lottery for those who get vaccinated). Alas, the vaccine-hesitant and contrarian assholes probably won’t wear a mask anyway, which is why the vaccine is so important individually. We can’t rely on others to protect us. We have to protect ourselves. The best way to do that is to get vaccinated and continue to wear a mask if you are in a higher-risk situation.
Header Image Source: HBO