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Yesterday’s new, more relaxed CDC guidelines around mask wearing were greeted with both relief and confusion.
The recommendations, which were accompanied by a series of baffling charts, are “simultaneously too timid and too complicated,” my colleague Zeynep Tufekci writes—yet another instance, she argues, of the federal agency dropping the ball: “The CDC needs clearer, science-based guidelines that inform and empower us.”
Until those arrive, here’s some recent reporting from our staff writers to help you navigate America’s weird, semi-vaccinated phase:
As cases drop in the United States, eliminating outdoor mask mandates is a great start. Our reporter Derek Thompson argued last week that it was time to end (or phase out) most of those restrictions. He’s also warned that hygiene theater is a wasteful distraction.
Follow our golden rule for a semi-vaccinated world. “When deciding what you can and can’t do, you should think less about your own vaccination status, and more about whether your neighbors, family, grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and friends are still vulnerable to the virus,” deputy managing editor Rachel Gutman proposed earlier this year.
Remember: You’re not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your last dose. “Immunity to the coronavirus doesn’t just magically manifest the day someone gets a shot,” our staff writer Katherine J. Wu explains. Try not to cheat in the meantime.