Pop Culture

The CDC Basically Just Said You’re on Your Own Now

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines for COVID-19 prevention and they’re not great!

The guidelines have been getting more and more lax with every new update. The CDC had already recently shortened the recommended quarantine period to just five days after testing positive (from 10 previously), leaving a lot of people wondering if these guidelines were really about public safety, or about getting everyone back to work and consumerism.

Now the CDC is entirely removing any quarantine recommendation for those exposed to the virus. Instead, people are encouraged to just wear a mask and get tested after exposure, even though we know it can take multiple days for the virus to be detectable by those tests and asymptomatic people can and do still spread COVID-19.

“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” the CDC said in a statement. Which seems to basically mean we have to accept that we’re just going to keep on contracting a virus that is proving to have some incredibly scary and still largely unknown long-term effects and there’s nothing we can do about it. That sure seems like a disruption to daily life to me but what do I know?

NPR spoke with Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, who said (as the outlet writes), “The update isn’t necessarily a huge overhaul of the existing guidance, but it does represent an increasing focus on individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk.”

Except these guidelines make it basically impossible to do any sort of reasonable risk assessment or mitigation. They basically reduce everything to personal accountability. They focus on individuals’ decisions rather than wider mandates or community standards. But at the same time, they also issue the exact same standards for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

In short, the new CDC guidelines seem to simply say: You’re on your own!

(image: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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