Six months ago, Dr. Sarah Fortune was able to see the end of the pandemic.
On Wednesday morning, Fortune, chair of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, woke up with “existential fear” about the future of Covid-19.
That’s despite the new guidance released on Tuesday Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This suggests that Covid-19 is wearing a mask indoors in a rapidly prevalent area, whether or not vaccinated.
Fortune supports new guidance. Widely praised by experts like herI’m sure it will save lives.
Still, “masking is not the solution,” she said.
The number of cases is increasing Fourth wave of infection Dominate the country caused by the Delta variant.Hospitalization in the state Low vaccination rate It is increasing rapidly. Suddenly, cities and counties, with the help of the CDC, have reinstated their obligation to triumphantly abolish indoor masks.
Guidance released on Tuesday faces anger from many Republican officials, Caused frustration among people who have already been vaccinated.. For those studying infectious diseases, it feels like sending a lifeboat to a sunken ship with 50 people on board.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that he would sue Kansas City for a new indoor mask mission.
“This mask mandate isn’t about science, it’s about politics and control,” said Republican Schmidt, who is running for the US Senate. Said on twitter.. “You are not the subject, but the citizen of the freest country in the world. I always fight for you.”
He has joined the prominent voice chorus on the right, leading to new guidance.
Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said:Forcing a mask undermines public confidence in the vaccine“R-Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Fox News that the guidance was” ridiculous. “100% politics, not science.. “Burning Wednesday’s speech on the house floor, Republican Rep. Chiproy asked, “Which is the vaccine or the mask?”
Their rebuke is natural. The mask is deeply politicized and has received strong opposition from the Republicans since it was first imposed in the spring of 2020.
But this time, they are not the only ones indignant.
When Raven Hecht heard about the change, she had to be a little frustrated.
“It was like’going here again’,” said Hect, a 25-year-old radio promoter in New Jersey. Hecto is vaccinated and has always been enthusiastic about wearing a mask. I don’t feel much inconvenience, and I wear a mask when I go to a pharmacy.
“I’ve been playing my part all this time,” she said. “The United States as a whole continues to undermine itself. We are very close to ending this.”
At the micro level, Hect said policy is good, but not a panacea.
“I think the only way to see real change at the macro level is when companies start mandating vaccines,” she said. And there are more.
on Wednesday, Separately announced by Google, Facebook and Lyft They will require vaccinations for all employees returning to the office.President Joe Biden will announce the following on Thursday: All federal workers must be vaccinated Or face frequent tests. On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require employees to be vaccinated.
According to some public health experts, this is a more effective policy than requiring a mask.
“In terms of telling everyone who has been vaccinated that they need to wear the mask again, it’s not worth our spending in terms of reducing infections right now. I think, “said the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, a former member of the board of directors of Dr. Scott Gottlieb Pfizer. Interview with NPR on Wednesday..
Like many others, Fortune of Harvard is tired of wearing masks at work and in public places.
When the vaccine became available, “I was one of the people like’Let’s take off the mask!’,” Fortune said. “At Harvard, I was:” This mask man date is crazy. We have a vacant house. “
Now things feel different. “Not only are we not home-free, but the finish line will change as the virus evolves,” she said.
Fortune is worried that the country has created “the best cookware for the worst types of viruses.” At 50% vaccination levels in many parts of the country, “there are plenty of opportunities to see, infect, set up stores, and establish armageddon in individuals who have been immunized with the virus.”
The only long-term solution, she said, is a high vaccination rate. Instead (some people think it’s already the cause of the loss), Fortune imagines a world where viruses continue to evolve and escape coverage, with increasingly deadly waves. I can.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lives and the number of cases remains low, she has thrown away masks in some, but not all, public indoor spaces. Soon she will go to New Orleans, where the number of cases will be much higher. There she will wear the mask more often.