(WSYM) — Now that the CDC has changed its guidance, saying fully vaccinated people can now skip masks and social distancing, people are wondering, “Is the pandemic over for vaccinated people?”.
I’m just as excited as all the other fully-vaccinated people about the new CDC recommendations, but my answer is an emphatic no. Do not throw out your masks because we are not out of the woods yet.
The pandemic is not over. And the CDC still wants everyone - regardless of vaccination status - to wear masks in places like healthcare settings, nursing homes, public transportation, and businesses that require masks. So there are still quite a few exceptions.
Having said that, since I’m fully vaccinated, it feels great to have the choice to go maskless while indoors or outdoors in most settings. And while it’s not normal living just yet, this certainly feels like a giant step closer to normalcy.
The CDC is going to keep a close eye on our case numbers and variants. If our numbers start going back up, they could very well issue new recommendations.
But here’s what I’m hoping for. That the people who haven’t yet been vaccinated, are now inspired by these new guidelines to get their vaccine shot scheduled. Plus, there’s another incentive to get the COVID vaccine.
The medical center Cleveland Clinic collected data over three months. And what they found - and this is important information – is that 99% of people hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated. Remember, fully vaccinated means two weeks have passed after Pfizer or Moderna’s second shot or two weeks after Johnson’s & Johnson’s single-dose shot. So this is just more evidence that our vaccines work.
Now, while I am excited that life is starting to look a bit more normal, we are not completely there yet. And with this virus, and its mutations, we know that it can change. So while we can celebrate that we’re in a good place right now, we still need to face the reality that our COVID risks have not dropped to zero. We need more people vaccinated.
The higher our vaccination numbers are, the more the virus is boxed in, the less transmission will occur and the safer we are.
On the next Dr. Nandi Show, "Is Technology Killing Us"? Dr. Partha Nandi, MD, and guests investigate how cell phones are affecting the lives of children and adults. You'll hear how to safeguard your family with Frank Clegg, former CEO of Microsoft Canada, and world-renowned experts from the Environmental Health Trust. Tune in this Sunday, May 16th at 1 pm.
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