As the number of people in the U.S. who are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus increases, the restrictions put in to place for our safety are being eased. However, the level of risk to be accepted varies from individual to individual. What are you comfortable with?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have announced updated guidelines that suggest people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks indoors, nor do they have to maintain the standard physical distance that we have been accustomed to over the last year+.
We are all eager to return to our previous lives, including seeing and hugging our loved ones, or attending large events like music concerts and sporting events.
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the question ‘Freedom or security?’ Stay tuned for a bonus question, ‘Is technology neutral?’
However, on the same day that the CDC recommended the new guidelines, prominent comedian Bill Maher tested positive for COVID, causing his production team to postpone the taping of his weekly talk show. Maher is fully vaccinated and he does not have any symptoms. But it is clear that as much as we want a return to normal, the danger has not passed yet.
In addition, it is entirely possible that people who are anti-mask or anti-vaccine will take advantage of these new guidelines to avoid wearing a mask even though they are not fully vaccinated.
Therefore, there remains some level of risk, both to us as individuals (even the fully vaccinated ones), as well as to our community.
So what are you comfortable with? No change? Going maskless while outdoors? Outdoor dining? Maskless, indoor groups of vaccinated individuals? Indoor dining? Large groups of people, say, 500 or more?
Related questions: What will be the new normal? Mask or no mask? How do you evaluate risk? How do you want this to change you?
3 thoughts on “Regarding COVID, What Are You Comfortable With?”
I am comfortable being around people who are fully vaccinated. I can return to my workplace (which does not accept visitors) and gather with family and friends who’ve fulfilled their responsibilities. Masks and social distancing are not required in these cases, and I welcome hugs. I am also comfortable eating outdoors at a restaurant or sipping a cup of joe outside a coffeehouse without a mask.
All other situations require a mask.
I will not be found dining indoors or hanging out with large groups of people I am not familiar with. Concerts, sporting events, and the like are still no-noes.
For me, I’m not going to change much until the numbers get much better. The trends look good, but there are still a) a LOT of people being diagnosed with new cases every day, b) a LOT of people dying every day, and c) a LOT of people who, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the vaccine.
I’ll adopt the new guidelines more heartily when, say, we have consecutive days with no COVID deaths. There were 732 reported on Friday, according to the CDC, which is almost certainly an underestimate. That’s more than 14 per state. That’s the equivalent of five 737 passenger planes worth of people crashing with no survivors, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Yes, the numbers are far better than they were at their peak, and they are headed in the right direction (at least, here in the U.S.). But I think this is far from over.
After being in a habit for 14 months, mask wearing may be difficult to quit cold turkey. I’m becoming comfortable without a mask outdoors, but I haven’t been in close conversation with anyone there other than a friend who was getting her 2nd injection when I was. I knew she was fully vaccinated. 🙂 Indoors will take awhile I think, although I did have tea with a vaccinated friend in her home a few weeks ago. As more data is shared, I hope to break down my fear (and trembling) about Covid. It will be important to hear that Moyer and the others who have been vaccinated but have contracted Covid fare. From CDC information, we can expect them to have minor symptoms or none at all. This will help ease my mind. Cheers!