Opinion: New CDC mask guidelines

By Cassidy Reyna

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing that fully vaccinated individuals may now go without masks is the most idiotic thing it can do regarding mask mandates. Although many United States citizens are receiving the vaccine, we have yet to reach herd immunity. 

Most Americans have barely received their first inoculation, or have just received their second dose. Even if a person receives both, they have to wait two weeks in order to be considered fully vaccinated. 

We should be celebrating the amount of change we have made in the matter of almost four months of Joe Biden becoming president – and not taking off our masks. This is just the midway point of the marathon of COVID. As of May 21 only 48.8% of Americans have received their first dose, and 38.6% are fully vaccinated. 

Many Americans on the far right refuse to be vaccinated, as they believe that the vaccine has a tracking device or anything that they may see in conspiracy theories. They refuse to be labeled as  lab rats, saying the vaccine isn’t FDA approved or no one knows the long-term effects. The reality is that there are worse long-term effects that come when being infected with COVID-19. Their logic isn’t the best because the better alternative is to have an added layer of protection, than to be completely at risk. Most red states didn’t even follow mask mandates in the first place. Texas even allowed their citizens to ditch their masks in March way before many were vaccinated.

My family and I are fully vaccinated, but we will continue wearing masks in public places, because it’s still not safe. We can’t live in fear when it comes to going without masks, however, it’s clear that we are far from reaching herd immunity when you look at the numbers. 

According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, we need at least 70% of the population to be immune and vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity for COVID-19. As of now, we are 31.4% away from even reaching herd immunity. The fact that the CDC is allowing fully vaccinated individuals to roam around mask-free is a bad idea. Even someone fully vaccinated can carry the virus and spread it to others. At that point, those who are vaccinated have to be more careful with those who aren’t. I have a few family members who haven’t been vaccinated, and I know that I have to be careful with who I’m around in case I come in contact with COVID.

I work a part-time job at my local Starbucks and I come in contact with different people everyday. I take every precaution I can because I don’t want to put my co-workers and any guests who come in to grab a coffee at risk. Luckily at my place of work, we are paid extra if we are vaccinated, this is a great incentive for when it comes to encouraging employees to be vaccinated.

Instead of using vaccinations as the incentive to go maskless, we should be talking about the incentives many other places are providing. 

The CDC is going by an honor code when it comes to knowing who is and isn’t vaccinated. However, haven’t we learned from this whole pandemic that people are liars and don’t care about others, especially now when it comes to COVID-19 and wearing masks.

It was announced on May 21 that all capacity restrictions will be lifted and follow the new CDC guidelines when California opens the economy on June 15.

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