Face mask guidelines: what if the government got it wrong again?

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The World Health Organization even encourages those vaccinated to keep masks on, especially indoors, as the Delta variant of Covid-19 ricochets around the world.

They are different organizations with different missions. WHO targets an international audience, which includes many countries with low immunization rates.

The CDC targets the United States, which has a relatively high vaccination rate, especially in some states. He framed the new guideline that science shows masks are not needed for vaccinated people as a boost for people to get vaccinated.

But this does not correspond to the guidelines of WHO officials.

“There are several safe and effective vaccines that prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. This is part of managing COVID-19, in addition to the main preventive measures of staying at least 1 meter from others, covering a cough or sneeze in the elbow, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask and avoiding injuries. poorly ventilated rooms or open a window, ”says the guide.

It got stronger as Covid ravages Latin America and Africa.

“People cannot feel safe just because they have received the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” said Dr Mariangela Simao, WHO deputy director-general for access to health. drugs and health products, said last week in Geneva.
If anyone needed a reminder that Covid is not over, this division on masks is it. Read the CDC Mask Guide here.

Volutes on the masks

The Delta variant is also taking off in the United States – and increasing especially in places with low vaccination rates. The question is therefore whether the CDC will be forced to reassess its orientations.
Israel made such a reversal, return to mandatory interior masking specifically to control the Delta variant. Some European countries have taken a more measured approach to ending the use of masks, keeping the requirements indoors and allowing them to move outdoors.

Now, some US local governments are also flip-flopping on masks.

In Los Angeles County, local authorities have taken the precaution of reinstating mask guidelines for public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

Calling it a “precautionary measure,” the Los Angeles County Public Health Department released the voluntary mask guidelines on Monday, saying it was needed until health officials could “better understand how and to whom the Delta variant spreads “.

In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker this week encouraged people to wear masks with themselves even after being vaccinated.

“I think when we leave our house every day, I encourage everyone – whether you are vaccinated or not – to bring your mask with you,” said Pritzker, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “You know what the guidelines are in the state of Illinois and use your mask accordingly.”

There has already been some frustration among U.S. health officials over how the CDC’s guidelines, which have been somewhat surprising, have been interpreted or, in fact, misinterpreted.

“I think people are misinterpreting it, thinking this is a removal of a mask warrant for everyone. It is not,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Axios in late May. “It is an assurance for those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, whether they are outside or inside.”

Fauci and government lack consistency on masks

He and other experts advised against wearing masks at the start of the pandemic, to reverse the course.

Fauci now says he initially advised against masks in part to ensure they were available to frontline workers. He also wrote an email to former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in February 2020, saying he had not, at that time, think they have been effective in stopping the spread of the disease.

Our understanding of the virus and the science has clearly evolved since then. But following the masks’ mandates and recommendations can seem like a full-time job. It might be difficult for the government, now that it has relaxed its policy, to go in the opposite direction.

Most states have abandoned mask warrants for the vaccinated, although there are still many rules for public transport and schools.

Some, like Florida, have even acted to anticipate local governments that may want to return to masks.

The biggest question mark may be in schools, as children under the age of 12, who cannot get the vaccine, may be the cause of the spread of the Delta variant.

New Jersey announced this week that there will not be be a mask requirement for children in school this fall, although individual districts can impose their own rules.
In California and Washington state there are efforts to frame the wearing of masks for children and vaccination as personal choices.

Masks, for whatever reason, really hack some people

Just consider these recent CNN reports of a sharp increase in the number of misbehaved and even violent passengers on U.S. planes, which include 2,300 reports that passengers have refused to comply with the federal requirement to wear masks in airplanes.
Recently, a Mexican national jumped from a plane onto the LAX tarmac, breaking his leg and facing federal charges. An off-duty Delta Air Lines flight attendant allegedly used the aircraft’s intercom system and assaulted two other flight attendants, causing the pilot to call “all able-bodied men, please come to the front of the plane in an emergency “.

There is also the group of people who will be wearing masks from now on. When CNN wrote about the lasting effects of the pandemic, he spoke with experts who predict that masks will become a permanent part of our arsenal against the coronavirus and other viruses or bacteria.

“You sneeze a bit, you don’t know if it’s a cold or allergies – I could imagine people putting on masks under these circumstances or people putting on masks when they go on a trip,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN.


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