23 votes

Biden: “Great day for America;” Vaccinated can largely ditch masks

13 comments

  1. [6]
    vord
    Link
    I absolutely hate this announcement. There have already been too many people around refusing to wear masks. Now they have an easy out by saying "I'm vaccinated, so it's ok." Regardless of how true...

    I absolutely hate this announcement.

    There have already been too many people around refusing to wear masks. Now they have an easy out by saying "I'm vaccinated, so it's ok." Regardless of how true that statement is.

    I'm looking forward to the gigantic spike in cases in about 2 weeks. /s

    22 votes
    1. [4]
      Atvelonis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If they weren't vaccinated and still weren't masking, I don't see how this announcement changes anything. It was going to come one way or the other. These people obviously aren't going to do...
      • Exemplary

      If they weren't vaccinated and still weren't masking, I don't see how this announcement changes anything. It was going to come one way or the other. These people obviously aren't going to do anything voluntarily, and as such there is little value in maintaining a recommendation that is not scientifically necessary merely for the sake of instilling social pressure. At this point, we would get more out of public or private vaccine mandates (school, work, etc.) than misleading the populace with overwhelming pessimism and undue paranoia about the virus.

      From an individual standpoint, there's no reason for a person who isn't particularly concerned about the virus to get vaccinated unless it makes their life easier to do so; i.e. if they don't have to wear a mask anymore. Indeed, this does create the potential for people to pretend to be vaccinated, explicitly or implicitly. But if we maintain a charade that you actually have to keep wearing a mask after being inoculated with an extremely potent vaccine, that provides similarly little incentive for the vaccine-lazy to get the shot, and additionally undermines public faith in the entire vaccination process.

      It's a reasonable deduction: if we need masks to stop the spread of COVID as a stop-gap for a vaccine, but that vaccine actually doesn't stop us from having to wear masks, the natural conclusion for a lot of people is going to be that the vaccine is useless. There's already a great deal of hesitancy over its side effects, and I would strongly contest the idea that doing anything except promoting the vaccine for what it is—an extremely safe and effective product—is going to help us end the pandemic.

      20 votes
      1. [3]
        vord
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I agree than mandates are needed, but are unlikely to happen for awhile. American's hate mandates, and that's why we never really exited first wave. The social pressure and ease of enforcement is...

        I agree than mandates are needed, but are unlikely to happen for awhile. American's hate mandates, and that's why we never really exited first wave.

        If they weren't vaccinated and still weren't masking, I don't see how this announcement changes anything. It was going to come one way or the other. These people obviously aren't going to do anything voluntarily, and as such there is little value in maintaining a recommendation that is not scientifically necessary merely for the sake of instilling social pressure.

        The social pressure and ease of enforcement is the entire point. Wearing masks are about keeping you from infecting others. It's quite obvious vaccinated people wouldn't really need them, but keeping the mask policies will work better for the same reason people implement zero-tolerance policies: ease of enforcement. Giving everyone a free pass to go maskless because you can't prove they're not allowed to is asking for trouble based on how hard it has been to enforce up until this point.

        With this announcement mask enforcement is going to drop to zero, leaving the majority of people (see my cousin post) unprotected.

        You want incentive? Announce that the nation can go maskless at 90% vaccinnated, until them mandates remain.

        The people not getting vaccines in areas without supply issues are not going to get the vaccinne to go maskless. They are going to lie about it. By enforcing a measurable number to be met there's an incentive because they'll be in a prisoner's dilemma if they don't.

        Evvry vaccinated person I know doesm't mind the continued mask wearing. We take them off in private now, but we understand why presentation is important in a society that values 'freedom' over legitimate science.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Atvelonis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          But the maskless are already maskless. The incentive we've been operating on doesn't work for everyone, and never will. It has an ambiguous timeline, in many places an extremely long...

          By enforcing a measurable number to be met there's an incentive because they'll be in a prisoner's dilemma if they don't.

          But the maskless are already maskless. The incentive we've been operating on doesn't work for everyone, and never will. It has an ambiguous timeline, in many places an extremely long one—technically it has no guarantee of ever being met. This makes it a psychologically weak incentive, something that produces applause from scientists and groans from public health communicators. Vermont will be lucky to vaccinate 75% of its population in the next month; that's not so bad, but states like Mississippi are looking at more than a year.

          This is a Catch-22, but we don't live in a world where it can be resolved by continuing to yell about rules without changing any other variables. There is no realistic chance that a masking recommendation from the CDC would see widespread adherence through the end of the summer outside of pockets of hyper-liberal population centers. (This would require enforcement via jail time or non-trivial fines, which is never going to happen in the United States.) Most vaccinated people I know are also okay with wearing masks right now, but only because they've been waiting for an announcement like this one. The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, and a masking recommendation that is indefinite in practice obscures that. The current incentive (in and of itself) eventually directs us toward a deadlock state; a more nuanced solution is clearly needed.

          Broadly speaking, I feel that social pressure is better instilled through focusing the brunt of our efforts on empathetic personal messaging, not behavioral protocols that are abstracted from the problem. Anecdote: I visited a friend from my hometown last week for lunch. We got sandwiches from our favorite deli and sat in a park by the river to eat. I asked in passing which vaccine he'd received, and it turned out he hadn't scheduled anything at all! No particular reason, not even hesitancy, he just didn't consider it a priority—despite months of quarantining and masking. I suggested that he make an appointment, and he did. That's all it took. In his case, which I suspect represents a larger portion of the unvaccinated than actual anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers, the tipping point was not a vague future incentive but just encouragement from a trusted figure.

          In true liberal fashion, we have a proclivity both on this website and in political science as a whole to prioritize widespread systemic solutions to complex societal problems, but this unfortunately takes a relatively unspecific look at the individualized psychological mechanics that are necessary for sociological theory to operate in any meaningful capacity. Different strategies are going to be necessary at each progressive stage of the problem, even if that means sacrificing elements of the idealistic solution. The post-utilitarian within me also emphasizes that even something as ostensibly insignificant as daily mask usage (among other things) can have profound impact on people's mental health! For many individuals, the negative cognitive effects of potentially indefinite masking eventually outweigh the potential for reduced social pressure in their absence. Human behavior is tricky to work with and I think we need a much more robust approach if we actually want to end the pandemic faster.

          I agree than mandates are needed, but are unlikely to happen for awhile. American's hate mandates, and that's why we never really exited first wave.

          I would like to note that several hundred universities have already declared vaccination requirements for the fall semester, and any number of workplaces have done similarly. When the vaccines are approved for full authorization, public school districts will have a substantial defense for requiring it as well. Because young people have the lowest vaccination rates right now, I feel that this is an underappreciated development in the vaccination process. The government will never make the vaccine mandatory for all adults, but a substantial number of people will be forced one way or the other to take the shot.

          9 votes
          1. vord
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I think you've made some good points (which I disagree with, but will let be on their own). However, I do have one thing I vehemently disagree with: Yes, in some circumstances. But not currently...

            I think you've made some good points (which I disagree with, but will let be on their own). However, I do have one thing I vehemently disagree with:

            But the maskless are already maskless. The incentive we've been operating on doesn't work for everyone, and never will.

            Yes, in some circumstances. But not currently indoors, where the mandates are upheld best and enforcement is the most important. That is where things will fall apart.

            And semi-separately, this quote from the article:

            Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

            Is in direct opposition to the spring break outburst of varients. We're pushing return to normal before we're ready, and it's going to hurt.

            I have friends in more rural areas saying dumb things like "Man you city folk are paranoid, everything is getting better" without comprehending that because our population density is orders of magnitude higher, but our vaccine percentage is lower, any small outbreak can be a big outbreak in very short order.

            I well and truly hope I am wrong about the spike. But you can bet I'm not going anywhere maskless, or in an area with a large quantity of maskless people, until I see infection rates drop below 1%. I encourage everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to do the same.

            4 votes
    2. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        Because no state is at 50% vaccinated yet. Over 2/3 of of the states are under 1/3 vaccinated. The rollout hasn't been geographically focused, so herd immunity isn't a thing yet. Plus very few...

        Now that a significant majority of Americans are vaccinated, why is it wrong to start taking steps in that direction?

        Because no state is at 50% vaccinated yet. Over 2/3 of of the states are under 1/3 vaccinated. The rollout hasn't been geographically focused, so herd immunity isn't a thing yet. Plus very few children have been vaccinated yet.

        32 million confirmed cases is only 10% of the population. If you assume the actual cases is double, we're still less than 60% protected. Not even factoring the antibodies not neccessarily lasting more than a few months.

        This was a premature announcement, and I'll happily eat my words if I am wrong.

        8 votes
  2. [6]
    suspended
    Link
    The article title is clickbait imo. Please, be careful to read from the CDC about the nuances. Depending upon where you live on Earth, things could be far different from the general messaging...

    The article title is clickbait imo. Please, be careful to read from the CDC about the nuances. Depending upon where you live on Earth, things could be far different from the general messaging here. Here in the US, the decisions about what will and will not be permitted may fall upon each individual state's governor.

    I am happy that things are looking good overall, but I'd suggest getting more details from your specific geographic region.

    8 votes
    1. [5]
      nukeman
      Link Parent
      There’s not a lot of nuances in what the CDC is saying; unvaccinated people still have to wear masks in general, but for vaccinated folks, they are only federally required to wear them in public...

      There’s not a lot of nuances in what the CDC is saying; unvaccinated people still have to wear masks in general, but for vaccinated folks, they are only federally required to wear them in public transportation and strongly encouraged to wear them in hospitals. Obviously things are still different at the state level.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        j3n
        Link Parent
        The CDC doesn't say anything at all about requirements. The CDC is saying that they've collected enough information to conclude that it's not medically necessary for vaccinated people to wear...

        The CDC doesn't say anything at all about requirements. The CDC is saying that they've collected enough information to conclude that it's not medically necessary for vaccinated people to wear masks in most circumstances. That's it. Even at the Federal level, individual agencies still have to update their internal rules to lift mask requirements.

        This is great news, but it doesn't change requirements at all on its own.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          I don't think anyone reading this that was already wearing a mask will be stupid enough to Karen their way into a store without a mask just because the CDC says they don't need to. It'll take time...

          I don't think anyone reading this that was already wearing a mask will be stupid enough to Karen their way into a store without a mask just because the CDC says they don't need to. It'll take time for stores to take down their mask signs. It'll take time for local laws to get adjusted.

          3 votes
          1. Adys
            Link Parent
            POTUS is saying "hey the CDC says you don't need masks if you're vaccinated". It's hard to interpret this with an implicit "but you might still have to". I get that businesses and states can still...

            POTUS is saying "hey the CDC says you don't need masks if you're vaccinated". It's hard to interpret this with an implicit "but you might still have to".

            I get that businesses and states can still require you to wear a mask regardless but it makes for extremely mixed messaging.

            Anyway I think the US is getting to the point where there needs to be incentives for people to get vaccinated now. Telling them "get a shot, drop the mask" is bound to be somewhat effective.

            6 votes