New CDC guidance re Masks: In the USA, the CDC... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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New CDC guidance re Masks

whmk profile image

In the USA, the CDC seems to have shot itself in the foot or at least thrown kids, CLL'ers, and other immune-compromised under the bus. It has decided that fully vaccinated people do not need to mask or social distance - outdoor or indoors in many situations. Unvaccinated people are asked to follow the honor system since many states now forbid the checking of vaccine passports. This means that the store, bar, or concert you go to may have 37% who are fully vaccinated along with 63% who are not - most unmasked and not socially distant. Moreover, instead of encouraging the unvaccinated to get the vaccine, this policy may have the opposite consequence since they can go and do everything anyways. What a feeding ground for SARS-Cov-2 and its variants.

41 Replies

Agree. Jumping too fast to “normal” however I will continue to follow safety guidelines to protect myself. Vaccinated but achieved very little or no immunity. Others can go out and party but I’m not.

AussieNeil profile image

Op-Ed: What Was CDC Thinking With Its New Mask Guidance?

— The agency has lurched from over-caution to abandoning all caution

by Lawrence O. Gostin, JD (Who notes he worked for the CDC for many years and introduces his Op-Ed with "This opinion piece will be sharply critical of the new CDC guidance on masking for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, so I want to begin by saying the agency has been, and remains, the envy of the world."

"So, what will be the outcome of the CDC's new guidance? It's highly likely that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will throw away their masks. This poses a significant risk of a surge of cases and hospitalizations. Over 60% of Americans are still not fully vaccinated. Many immunocompromised people are vulnerable even if fully vaccinated because they can't mount a full -- or often any -- immune response."

With my emphasis.


Ugh I am beginning to hate bureaucrats! Especially the people who state their policy is "no government interference in business", then pass laws telling businesses what they can and cannot do!

That guidance sucks. Respirators are the perfect spread control tool. They proved their mettle over here in Slovakia. The country went from worst in the world to nearly best in the EU now thanks in part to mandatory respirators in all inside spaces.


Disgusted! I feel like some of us will end up in lockdown for life!

I went to Costco yesterday and they've already abandoned masks for customers, putting us on the honor system as to whether or not we've been vaccinated. I don't like to judge people by appearance (well actually I do) but I had a strong feeling that many of the maskless were anti-vaxxers.

whmk profile image
whmk in reply to hhk50

Try going to Costco during the senior hour. They still have it and nearly everybody is still masking during the senior hour. Many seniors are immunocompromised and they understand that they are still at risk and need a mask and social distancing.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to hhk50

I have decided to boycott Costco and others who are doing this. Senior hour or not. Remember the aerosols stay suspended in the air for hours. Until places start filtering/cleaning the air, this will continue to be a problem.

On the bright side, I read an article yesterday where a bunch of scientists are pushing for requirements that places clean their air, like they have to have clean water. IMO this is one of the very few "governments telling businesses what to do" that is necessary and important, like wearing shoes is required for safety.

I can't find the one I was reading, but here are similar:

Oh Wait here it is:

whmk profile image
whmk in reply to SofiaDeo

I thought about boycotting them as well, but the majority of stores (Walmart, Sams, Publix, etc.) in the South will soon unmask leaving us with very few choices.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to whmk

I agree, but sending an email to the company telling them I am boycotting them & why, may help educate at least some. I am enclosing the links regarding how air cleaning/humidification needs to be pushed when I do. Remember one voice of protest statistically represents thousands of people!

Of course we will be forced to purchase necessary items from these companies if there's no reasonable option. I guess I should have said, "I am emailing these companies to complain" 😆

AnneHill profile image
AnneHill in reply to SofiaDeo

I dont know anything about air filtering. Looks like I need to do some research and ask places about their systems.My Mother in law is ill in hospital and I have waited in the Costa while my husband visits her. 1 person per visit.

Tables widely spaced. 1 person per table. Sterilising between customers.

There is air flowing continually and the front is open.

I had to drink my coffee but wore my mask when I had finished. I used my phone app to scan in. This is to trace me if another customer becomes infected.

I used hand gel regularly. I felt safe.

I heard today that my town has the 2nd lowest number of cases in the uk.

I have no plans to change anything for the time being.

If I was in the USA I would behave in the same way. Trouble is if numbers go up it makes us stay home. The government in the UK have relaxed the rules today but we

still need to wear masks in shops and other venues.

I really cant understand precautions stopping. Our government thought that vaccinations would be so advanced that everything could open completely by the end of June.

Now they are panicking because the Indian variant of covid has entered the UK and they are frantically trying to vaccinate and test the worst areas.

Anti vaccers beware. People in hospital in that area are the ones that havent taken up the jab,. Now others are having it but it wont be fully effective for 3 weeks.

I feel I cant even holiday in the UK. I am really disapointed and sad that it has taken away hope and I imagine you are too, Anne uk

Ginajetta profile image
Ginajetta in reply to whmk

Sad situation

IWVC profile image
IWVC in reply to hhk50

Just for info, Costco UK still requires masks. As far as I'm aware, simply being vaccinated in the UK does not make you an exempt person.

" Following government guidelines, to protect our members and employees, all Costco members and guests must wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while at Costco. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 11 or, effective 17th May 2021, to individuals who are exempt. To allow us to serve you better, we suggest that our members carry an exemption card.

The use of a face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing. Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. "

I had a 'discussion' on facebook with an anti-masker....'didn't need them ever and don't need them now.' Enlightening to me how disturbed some people really are. She quoted so many 'facts'' and told me how stupid I was. Interestingly though she told me if I was such a baby, do go ahead and wear my mask. Wa-a-a-a-a

I had to go out with my 3 kiddos yesterday (we all wore masks) my oldest has an appt to be vax but it’s not until next week. More than 1/2 of the people out were not wearing masks & though I don’t know 100% if they were all vax or not I do know the last numbers were our area showing about 42% vax’d so I can assume many of those people were not vax. Sadly between myself & 3 kids we are at much higher risk still and I’m soooo frustrated because as we well know this whole pandemic & vaccine roll-out has become so very politicized & in the south of the US there are many who are not willing to get the vax or wear masks. I did show Antibodies to the vax but my mom with CLl did not & we are making sure we are staying safe not only for us but her.

I feel like we’ve been abandoned. I was just starting to very cautiously and slowly emerge from my 15+ month isolation. The cases in my county are the lowest they have been since last summer. I had my first non-medical related outing to an outdoor garden center a few days before the mask announcement. I know transmission outdoors is low, but at that point everyone was still masked and I felt pretty safe. My friends and family (all fully vaccinated) still plan to mask when they are in any indoor public place. At this point, I feel like those without masks will be the same uncaring people who refuse to be vaccinated. Just my opinion…

Personally, I do not think that it is a proper policy for the government to hold everyone else hostage because some of us, myself included, may (or may not) be protected by the vaccine. It seems to me that it is our personal responsibility to protect ourselves as best we can by continuing to wear masks, etc., given our personal medical conditions. The real problem as I see it is all the people who can and should be vaccinated but are choosing not to get the vaccine and in many cases are refusing to wear masks, etc. These people are the ones who are putting us at risk, not the government, IMHO.

whmk profile image
whmk in reply to mteaney

Not asking the government to hold everyone else hostage forever. Just asking the CDC to do its job: protect the public's health during a public health crisis. Just another month of more vaccinations and declining cases.

mteaney profile image
mteaney in reply to whmk

I don't disagree with this, but whether now or a month from now, most of us with underlying conditions could be facing unnecessary risks caused to a great extent by people who refuse to get vaccinated and refuse to wear masks, etc. Their "freedom" could end up killing us. That is my only point.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to mteaney

Agreed. The experience India is having after they opened up concerned me. And now that variant has hit the US. Healthcare workers are still stressed, I am aghast the CDC would potentially put them in crisis mode again, before this wave is fully resolved. I think it's Politics.

mteaney profile image
mteaney in reply to SofiaDeo

This "government" problem didn't start with CDC's recent guidance. It has been ongoing in the various states that relaxed the masks and other standards months ago at the behest of those voters who refuse to wear masks etc. The very same voters who now refuse to get vaccinated.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to mteaney

Oh I totally agree with you!

AnneHill profile image
AnneHill in reply to mteaney

The people who came back from India and gave their families Covid are now paying the price. Just as UK hospitals have very few covid patients, the ones in a particular area are having a build up of unvaccinated patients. Some in intensive care. Bit late to be sorry now.Lets hope that by continuing to be cautious we can have a bit of life, Anne uk

In addition, we have no data on how long immunity from the vaccine will last. This whole adventure seems very risky.

AussieNeil profile image
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to Atds

Actually we do - half life of at least 8 months for healthy folk.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to AussieNeil

And we don't yet know the level that gives the best level of protection, so erring on the side of caution is prudent IMO. With Covid, I am now masking/taking precautions year round indoors instead of mostly during Flu season! And staying upwind of people outside when I can. Or turning my back if I happen to be downwind when they pass me outdoors.

It's interesting/heartening to note in this neighborhood, most people no longer pass each other on the sidewalk like they used to. Someone crosses to the other side, or at least steps into the street to stay about 6+ feet apart. We still greet each other, except now its from a distance.

I have bought N95 masks in the hope that when I shop these will offer me some protection. My opinion is that CDC did this too soon, but at some point this was inevitable.

whmk profile image
whmk in reply to DelrayDave

Agreed. The original July 4th goal was a sensible one.

My understanding is that unless a person is wearing a medical grade mask, it really offers only cursory protection to the mask wearer. It's more to protect others in your proximity from big droplets if you sneeze, cough or shout something like, hey you over there - where is your mask?!?!' 😅

So if I go out to a public place wearing a homemade cloth mask, it is most likely the unvaccinated folks that are at the most risk by my presence as a potential source of infection. Not that the mask is really doing much for me. Love thy neighbor, right?

AnneHill profile image
AnneHill in reply to nvrbeold62

We need to be careful where we go. I wanted to look in a shop but realised there were groups of people looking around and decided against it. We still need to social distance and ventilation is a must. The most important thing is the number of people with Covid in your area. We are stuck with wearing masks. This virus is never ending. Anne uk

I fully agree with you. This time the CDC didn't think when they issued this recommendation. If they wanted to let those vaccinated they don't need to use a mask anymore, they should have also set out sdo rules for those not-vaccinated. And that should have included the obligation for establishments to be able to ask for proof of vaccination. I don't understand what the big deal is with this "privacy" thing with the vaccination certificates. Those persons who prefer not to get vaccinated should suffer the consequences of their decision, and that is a public health issue, not some privacy crap. They should not be allowed to be a potential risk to citizens who are unable to protect themselves like us.

whmk profile image
whmk in reply to Iupiter

Exactly. Students have to show proof of vaccination to attend school; if they don't there is exception processing to deal with them. How did COVID ever get so political?

AnneHill profile image
AnneHill in reply to Iupiter

We cant have privacy if we have phones and computers. It can show what we are buying, what we are interested in and a profile can be made. We can be traced. Thats for starters. They are making excuses. Anne uk

Folks: The problem isn’t the CDC. The problem is the average American is intent on taking off his/her mask (the ones who were wearing them) now that vaccinations are widely available and the positivity rate is falling sharply. Unfortunately, the CDC simply stated what is occurring. It’s going to be tricky moving forward for CLL patients, especially this fall when it begins to get cold again. We must continue to be careful until we have the ability to determine the efficacy of the vaccination on individual CLL patients. Stay safe and stay focused and you will get through this. Life isn’t always fair and it often isn’t easy.



SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to HopeME

Well, I politely disagree that the CDC isn't part of the problem. Just because adults are throwing tantrums about continuing to wear masks for overall public health, is no reason for them to cave in to public pressure. The Emperor's New Clothes and all, except this is much more serious. Look at how adults kicked and screamed when seat belt laws here went into effect.

I guess part of my upset with the CDC is that their overall response to this has had a political taint, as opposed to pure public health. When Covid first hit, we knew it was a coronavirus. Other coronaviruses have airborne transmission, so it would have been prudent to recommend those precautions from the get-go IMO. Instead, we got mixed messages, waffling, and confusion. IMO it would have been easier and less confusion to the lay public to be very conservative from the beginning, and relax restrictions later if it turned out to be less of a problems than SARS or MERS. And unfortunately, IMO this virus is waaaay worse than SARS or MERS.

And political pressure on this, which should have had nothing to do with it, was awful. Yes it disrupted the economy. But we are trying to save lives, not ensure continued smooth sailing for corporate processes.

Yep. To a lesser extent we had the same kind foot-dragging response by government in the UK. Clamping down hard at the first warning signs would have made control a lot easier later and would have minimised cumulative economic damage. And spared a lot of lives.

UK gov recently announced a public enquiry into this, starting next year. Being able to point to a PE is a great way of silencing critics. Gov has the appearance of doing the right thing while actually kicking criticism 8 years down the road, by which time those in the firing line will have moved on to more lucrative pursuits.

Here is another article discussing the dilemma that the CDC put us

The CDC's excuse for the original poor communication re masks was they didn't want people to hoard masks. Fine to a point but they should have been more transparent rather than lie and then have to backpedal.

SofiaDeo profile image
SofiaDeo in reply to whmk

Oh I agree. The government could have clamped down on masks (I am sure there is some Public Health Emergency law), and redirected manufacturing to produce them. My understanding is, that the law that allows manufacturing redistribution was invoked, but not followed through. And they could have stressed cloth face coverings to prevent asymptomatic transmission! Saving masks for medical personnel. Instead of saying "oh you don't need to mask". And I call BS on "we didn't want people to hoard masks" anyway. During hurricanes gasoline distribution is limited to avoid hoarding, as well as other purchases. Emergency actions could have been taken to prevent/stop mask hoarding and lives (ESPECIALLY first responders/healthcare workers) would have been saved.

Not to be offensive: Many Americans want to be "free" from such popular protections such as face masks, which are normal among the wise in East Asia. But then Americans force themselves into tight "blue jeans" (which often are only too short under the beltline). Talking about "herd......),

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