My main takeaway from today’s news is that indoor masking is now essentially permanent.
Sure, sure, we could theoretically reach a degree of herd immunity in which there are only a few thousand cases per day nationally, in which case even the Faucis of the world might soften up and dispense with masks altogether. But something like a quarter of all adults say they won’t get vaccinated, and many cautious parents will decline vaccines for their children in the belief that kids are at low risk from COVID in the first place. We may not see fewer than 10,000 cases per day in 2021.
CDC's Dr. Walensky says guidance for fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors/mass gatherings is largely to protect unvaccinated from other unvaccinated folks who may be there (given difficulty distinguishing vaccinated people from those that aren't)— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 27, 2021
Which means the masks are here to stay, for all intents and purposes.
Here are the guidelines announced this morning by the CDC. If you’re vaccinated you can do anything you like, including dining indoors and visiting bars — a notable change from the caution evinced by the likes of Anthony Fauci over the past several months. But, whether vaxxed or not, if you’re in an indoor space then masks are recommended. In fact, of the 14 activities listed, the masking guidance is different for the vaccinated and unvaccinated in just two. Even the unvaccinated are now encouraged to go maskless when engaging in outdoor activities with only a few other people or solo.
So congrats to everyone on now having CDC approval for behaving the same way you’ve been behaving for a year outdoors.
But enough of that, some good news from NYT (also via Hot Hair), Can you have alcohol after getting vaccinated? Yes! I'll drink to that!
There is no evidence that having a drink or two can render any of the current Covid vaccines less effective. Some studies have even found that over the longer term, small or moderate amounts of alcohol might actually benefit the immune system by reducing inflammation. Heavy alcohol consumption, on the other hand, particularly over the long term, can suppress the immune system and potentially interfere with your vaccine response, experts say. Since it can take weeks after a Covid shot for the body to generate protective levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus, anything that interferes with the immune response would be cause for concern.
“If you are truly a moderate drinker, then there’s no risk of having a drink around the time of your vaccine,” said Ilhem Messaoudi, director of the Center for Virus Research at the University of California, Irvine, who has conducted research on the effects of alcohol on the immune response. “But be very cognizant of what moderate drinking really means. It’s dangerous to drink large amounts of alcohol because the effects on all biological systems, including the immune system, are pretty severe and they occur pretty quickly after you get out of that moderate zone.”
And speaking of "moderate drinking":