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Question of the day

Friday, May 14, 2021

* Background is here if you need it. NY Times on the CDC’s new mask guidance

And in Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas in a matter of about seven hours said he would not change his mask order, then that he would think about it, then that he was getting rid of it altogether because there was no good way to know who was fully vaccinated and who was not.

“While I understand the C.D.C.’s theory that they could just create a rule that says vaccinated folks go anywhere without a mask, and everybody else who’s unvaccinated will follow it, I don’t know if that’s the type of rule that was written in coordination with anyone who has been a governor or a mayor over the last 14 months,” said Mr. Lucas, a Democrat.

The abrupt decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to free fully vaccinated people from its mask guidance in most indoor and outdoor settings set off a scramble on Friday across the country to update local rules and redefine social norms.

Major corporations and local shopkeepers weighed whether to take down “masks-required” signs on their doors. People heading to the office or coffee shop or grocery store had to navigate rapidly shifting scientific advice and government restrictions. And surprised state and local officials, including some who withstood months of protests and lawsuits to keep mask orders in place, said they needed time to evaluate the new federal guidance.

“We’ve just learned of that prospective determination while we’re on the stage,” Stefan Pryor, the Rhode Island secretary of commerce, said during a news conference on Thursday shortly after the C.D.C. released its new guidance. “But as of now, yes, mask-wearing will be required.”

* The Question: Do you think there will be much confusion or controversy over this new mask policy? Explain, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    Total confusion reigns, there is no way to know who is vaxed/who is not. If your business attracts children all of them under 12 will be unvaxed. With 37% of IL totally vaccinated, If you take the sign down the staff/customers may rebel. While the general feeling ou there is CDC say take it off - so why do you keep the mask requirement. Phew

  2. - Jibba - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    No. I think mask rules are now toast except for those specific areas still required. Individual businesses may still adhere voluntarily for a while, but the blowback from the anti-maskers (who are also likely unvaccinated) will be intense. Darwin is now in charge, and thankfully those who believe in his ideas can save themselves via vaccination.

  3. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Confusion, no. Controversy, yes.
    The people who should wear masks, won’t. The rest of us will try to follow the CDC recommendations.

  4. - Sox Fan - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    “Darwin is now in charge”

    Excellent line, Jibba. Couldn’t agree more

  5. - cermak_rd - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    No I don’t think anyone will soon be wearing a mask other than people who want to for allergies, flu season etc. I don’t think any business is going to bother asking to see proof of vaccination. It will be an honor system.

    Which brings me joy because having anti-mask people dishonored and knowing that in their own theology lying will send them to an unpleasant eternity is truly a nice dessert served cold.

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===can save themselves via vaccination===

    Unless you have kids or have cancer.

  7. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    I think most people will conclude what the KC mayor did.

    The anti-vax people long ago stopped wearing masks for any reason than their employer or stores required it. It was already hard enough to enforce this when the CDC said it was helping. Now what’s the point for private business or local govt to stick their necks out?

    With few exceptions, the only non-anti-vax people whose health we were protecting by keeping mask mandates in place were the kids who are not allowed to get the vaccine but have been pushed back into in-person school.

    Unfortunately society has shown throughout this pandemic that children’s physical and mental health are the very lowest priority consideration in any of this.

  8. - DuPage Saint - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    Yes there will be confusion. And this is not the fault of people that are trying to do right. The people in charge change what to do and not do more frequently than most people change their socks. I would like to see a list of recommendations and mandates from day one that contradict themselves from no masks to masks from virus cannot live on hard surface to it does.

  9. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    With no way to independently verify who has been vaccinated, we are now using the honor system to maintain public health.

    The honor system is fine, except it has one pretty glaring flaw: it requires people to behave honorably.

    Total fail and it’s everyone for themself now. This is going to end badly.

  10. - Annonin' - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    Confusion? How there possibly be any confusion? We are sure TantrumTim is drafting speeches and side show stunts to showcase his genius. Maybe he’ll bring Ray LaHood to join him on the floor’

  11. - Teacher Lady - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    Each person who gets infected, inadvertently or not, allows the virus a chance to mutate. Therefore, I will continue to wear a mask, even though I am fully vaccinated. I understand that my risk of needing hospitalization is zero, but I could still be a host to the virus that allows it to mutate. Mutation is the danger now.

  12. - Huh? - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    Bedlam. What teacher lady said.

  13. - Nick - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    People act like we haven’t been relying on the honor system for more or less the entire pandemic already.

    I think overall people are spending too much time trying to anticipate than they are simply messaging. If you’re vaccinated you’re free to not wear a mask, if you aren’t you should. Keep it simple, keep incentives and messaging to encourage vaccinations, continue onwards.

  14. - Henry Francis - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    Will there be controversy? When a majority of the minority party’s main goal seems to be to create controversy and division, and they have blow horns in the media to fan the flames, then yes, I think there will be controversy, no matter what the CDC says.

  15. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:14 pm:

    I think this was more of a recognition of reality and incentive to vaccinate than anything else. Will there be confusion? Yup. Will non-vaccinated people cheat? 1000% guaranteed. Am I concerned about my under-12 year old? Yea. But all of this is kind of inevitable. I pray the vaccine will be available for kids under 12 asap. In the meantime, I agree with the commenter above. Darwin is in charge.

  16. - Candy Dogood - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:20 pm:

    Yep. Lots of confusion. The way that headlines were written didn’t help either.

    Big questions are: are vaccinated people good to go in a room full of non-vaccinated people if one of them has COVID-19?

    The major problem is no one really has a way to effectively demonstrate or accurately demonstrate that they’re vaccinated, so in terms of public policy it would be appropriate to still require masks in certain public settings until no one is required to wear a mask.

    Is it unnecessary? Maybe. But now you’re creating an opportunity where people can put others at risk for death just by lying about whether or not they were vaccinated. Not the best over all public health policy, but it is good news that the vaccine works.

    I still plan on wearing my mask as directed and will continue to do so even as others abandon the practice.

  17. - park - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    We’re in for a mess. The people who have been trying to get around mask mandates for the past year will be the first to lie about being vaccinated. My guess is that businesses won’t even try to enforce the vaccination angle, knowing this. And having no vaccine passport with a government imprimatur doesn’t help.

    I’d prefer it if businesses would keep the mask requirements until we hit at least 70% vaccination. But that will probably depend on what their competitors do.

  18. - Jocko - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    Total confusion. I read a joke where the CDC heard Americans were storing gas in plastic bags and simply gave up.

  19. - Wensicia - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:29 pm:

    Considering the response of Republican lawmakers nationwide, it’s not about confusion, but outright defiance. They want to end mask wearing completely for everyone, everywhere. This will only make anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers more aggressive toward the businesses and individuals still following masking requirements.

  20. - Amalia - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    Yes. because it’s not standard. Dr. Zeke Emanuel was on tv and he said the ruling was right but confusing. yep. Will private businesses have their own standards? guess. so. about to look at the new regs for Trader Joe’s as headline says they will no longer require masks for vaccinated. I’m vaccinated but still will wear a mask. Vax up, Mask up.

  21. - It’s Noon Somewhere - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    Kids have never been a significant risk where covid is concerned, why all the hand-wringing?

  22. - SubRosa - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:38 pm:

    Hey, Noon: kids are vectors.

  23. - RNUG - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    Confusion … most likely, especially when mayors and county health departments aren’t on the same page as the Governor and the CDC.

    Businesses will likely continue to have signs asking people to wear a mask. But, in my recent experiences, businesses haven’t been enforcing proper mask wearing. Voluntary compliance seems to be in the 90 some percent for now mist places. Some places are wide open, and we avoid them.

    Personally, we’ll follow whatever rules the businesses want. And we’ll avoid crowded areas, same as we have been doing up to now. But don’t expect to wear them outside at most events unless it is really crowded.

    Risk will be about the same. Still have unvaccinated grandkids and their friends visiting most days but at least the latest CDC information says that we, being fully vaccinated, are unlikely to pass it on to them … or catch it from them.

    So we’ll live a more normal life, but avoid crowds.

  24. - n-t-c - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===can save themselves via vaccination===

    ===Unless you have kids or have cancer===
    ===(Rich Miller)===

    Or are on immune-suppression drugs (e.g., you’ve had a transplant),
    are immune-suppressed for other reasons, are allergic to vaccine ingredients, etc.

    Plus the vaccines are not 100% effective.

    There are lots of possible reasons vaccination may not be available to a particular individual as a route to save her/himself.

    Moreover, some individuals live with others who cannot be vaccinated or whose vaccination will not produce an effective immune response. Even if the individual is at low risk for a symptomatic case, that doesn’t mean cohabitants at higher risk can’t be infected.

  25. - @misterjayem - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    “Kids have never been a significant risk where covid is concerned, why all the hand-wringing?”

    The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children were 1.2%-3.1% of total reported hospitalizations, and between 0.1%-1.9% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization.

    I don’t have kids, but if I did I’d want better odds than 1-in-50.

    – MrJM

  26. - JDuc - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:38 pm:

    I have and will continue to advocate for myself. I am starting to interact with the people I know are vaccinated without a mask, indoor and outdoor. I will continue to wear my mask around “strangers”. People lie and I don’t need to be around them anyhow. On a plane, mask, grocery store, mask, an upcoming concert this summer, mask. It’s pretty darn simple.

  27. - Anonanonsir - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    Politicians know a phrase that might have been useful: trial balloon.

  28. - Just a Citizen - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    I think almost everyone will not wear a mask.

  29. - Jibba - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:02 pm:


    Of course there are exceptions, and I surely do not agree with the full ending of mask requirements just yet. Sadly, the unmasked and unvaxxed are fully off the leash, and they will be taking their chances as they see fit. You can only do so much to protect people from themselves. Sadly, they will risk the others people you and Rich mentioned as well.

  30. - Jibba - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:10 pm:

    BTW, I am actually hopeful that, through time, we will approach 70% vaccinated. It just might take creative thinking, a new wave or three, plus mandates for vaccination for entry (or full capacity) in schools, events, etc. Those rules are a controversy that may yet come.

  31. - Pundent - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    I expect confusion and increased cases. Based on current vaccination rates roughly 2/3rd of the population should be wearing masks. I have no expectation that we’ll see that in practice particularly since there are large numbers of individuals who could otherwise get vaccinated but have chosen not to do so. That means the disease will have more opportunities to find hosts. And hopefully to the extent we continue to see breakthrough infections as part of that the cases will be mild.

    I suppose that this was somewhat inevitable when we decided that proof of vaccination would not be a requirement for most activities. The real question is if the numbers slip will political leaders have the courage to revert back to requiring masks? I’m not optimistic that they will.

  32. - Watcher of the Skies - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:27 pm:

    I think the way to look at it is that this is the CDC’s most ringing endorsement of the vax. We’re at a point where a) it will protect you if you’re vaxxed and b) enough people are vaxxed with low enough current rates that the disease will not run rampant even when people lie about this.

    It’s quite a sad statement about our civic health that we have to have these conversations, however.

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