The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided that the ubiquitous COVID face mask is no longer required anywhere IF you are vaccinated. Since the CDC does not make laws or regulations, some states may still require it.
Here’s the thing – it’s based on the honor system, and if there’s one defining characteristic of Americans who reject science, they aren’t honorable. Why on earth does the CDC think that Americans are so honorable that they would wear a COVID-19 face mask if they aren’t vaccinated? Does the CDC have some secret scientific evidence that would convince anyone that Americans would follow these rules?
Although there is strong science that supports the fact that once one is vaccinated, they are no longer at serious risk of harm from the disease, I believe that the CDC made a political decision, one that makes no sense at all. I’m not alone – only 38% of Americans trust the CDC’s handling of the pandemic.
The new COVID face mask rules make no sense, so I’m going to ignore them. And here are my reasons.
The vaccines aren’t perfect
I received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, so I feel protected. Even though the effectiveness of the vaccine is around 95%, as I’ve written before, that does not mean that out of 100 people, 95 will be protected. It’s more complicated than that, and it means that anything from randomness to the health of the individual’s immune system to many other factors may put someone outside of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Furthermore, we aren’t sure of whether the vaccine prevents asymptomatic transmission of the disease, so wearing my COVID-19 facemask protects me if the vaccines are imperfectly effective or protect others if I am asymptomatic.
I don’t trust anyone
Let’s be frank – people lie. I don’t know if the person not wearing a mask is vaccinated or not. I remember seeing someone without a mask and they were telling everyone they had gotten the vaccine. Except this was in September 2020, well before anyone was vaccinated (and even if they were in a clinical trial, they may have received the placebo).
COVID face mask works
I refuse to relitigate the effectiveness of facemasks, but the evidence seems to indicate that they work.
On the other hand, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is well-known to be low, sometimes down to 25% or so depending on the strain. But because of face masks, the USA had no serious flu outbreaks during the 2020-21 flu season. And I’d rather not catch the flu.
Furthermore, I keep hearing anecdotal stories (take them for what they’re worth) that doctors saw fewer patients presenting with respiratory ailments. I usually catch a cold every winter, and I got nothing this year. I love my face masks.
There are several variants out there of SARS-CoV-2 that are circulating widely. It is unknown whether the current vaccines are effective against them, and the CDC and World Health Organization seem to think they are. However, this virus keeps mutating, and I lose sleep over a new variant that avoids the immunity from the vaccines.
I don’t know or trust any of you
People lie. People don’t care about others. People are refusing to get the vaccine. And as long as these people are around, I’m going to wear my COVID-19 face mask.
Bonus reason 1
I’ve accumulated a lot of masks that I love wearing. I’m at the point where I feel like I haven’t put on my pants when I don’t have a mask on.
Bonus reason 2
Did I mention that I don’t trust any of you? I trust my daughters. I trust my fiancée. That’s about it. I know they’ve all been vaccinated and are very very careful. I think my older daughter hasn’t left her home except to get vaccinated in over a year!
Bonus reason 3
Too many Trump-supporting troglodytes that love super spreader events, hate vaccines and face masks, and think that COVID-19 is some sort of conspiracy.
Bonus reason 4
I get to make snarky remarks with a sneer under my mask, and no one knows. I can be anti-social without anyone knowing.
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