On The New CDC COVID Guidelines And Not Being A Jerk

On Thursday the CDC released new guidance that says fully vaccinated folks can begin to go about business as normal sans mask.


Of course, there are still local, state, and building based rules and ordinances to follow, but this is a good sign that we’re starting to come out of this. Hooray!

And, of course, because we can’t all be adults, there are people who are eager to strip off their masks despite being unvaccinated and dare people to say anything or ask for their “vaccine passport” (which they’re all too happy to share how to counterfeit) or so they can bully anyone else they see in public wearing as mask. Because, you know, being a jerk is cool or something.

So file this under “I can’t believe this has to be said” but allow me to submit the following:

If you see someone wearing a mask in a situation where you don’t think they’re necessary, mind your own business and move along. They’re not hurting anyone.

But, also, let’s consider this legitimate concern:

(The following is a Twitter thread I’m reposing here because I can.)

The “risk” of the new CDC guidelines is that it relies heavily on personal responsibility and the honor system – if you aren’t vaccinated you should still wear a mask but there’s no way to regulate or enforce so we have to take it on faith.

Sure, there are going to be people who are unvaccinated who take advantage of these lax rules and throw their masks away. They might even identify themselves by being the first to mock anyone who is still wearing a mask.

Don’t be that guy. Get the shot(s), it’s readily available.

If you still want to wear a mask despite being vaccinated that’s fine and understandable. It’s going to take a while to reset from the last 15 months.

But also keep in mind the purpose of masks wasn’t to keep you safe from others but to keep others safe from you. If you’re vaccinated you’re not spreading COVID. You’re now part of the solution.

Ultimately, be safe. Do what you feel you need to do to be safe. And don’t be a jerk to others about it.

Original Twitter thread

Of course, the moment I share this there’s that ONE troll that shows up:

Admittedly, it’s been “authorized” not “approved” by the FDA but that’s a nit folks only pick to be jerks.

This ain’t over yet. The new guidelines are a great sign, but they rely heavily on a responsible public being, well, responsible. And I’d like to believe we can do that. But if the last 15 months have proven anything…


Adoption Is Low for COVID-19 Exposure Apps, Rendering Them Effectively Useless (via USA Today via Daring Fireball)

Fewer than half of U.S. states offer Android and iOS tools for the “exposure notification” system the two companies announced last April, which estimate other people’s proximity via anonymous Bluetooth beacons sent from phones with the same software.

Most people in participating states have yet to activate these apps. Those who do opt in and then test positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 must opt in again by entering a doctor-provided verification code into their apps.

That second voluntary step generates anonymous warnings to other app users who got close enough to the positive user for long enough — again, as approximated from Bluetooth signals, not pinned down via GPS — to risk infection and to need a COVID-19 test.

So if your copy of one of these apps has remained silent, you’re not alone.

“Nobody in my circle has gotten the phone alert,” said Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore and editor of a 2020 book on the ethics of digital contact tracing.

Virginia rolled out COVIDWISE last summer (Spring? Time has lost meaning.) to some fanfare but limited adoption that never really improved. Earned media, some billboards and other advertising spots pushed it to a degree, but then nothing.

Having been tested for COVID twice, at neither point was I given any literature or told about the app by the two different facilities. How hard would it have been to work with localities or companies to include a note in utility or other bills?

So adoption has been low, and probably mainly among a core audience taking COVID most seriously, so those who are more likely to be following physical distancing recommendations and trying to limit their exposure to begin with. Making the apps even more useless.

NYTimes: The vaccine news continues to be better than many people realize.

As some folks sweat the effectiveness of COVID vaccines on the market, NYTimes points out that studies for all five vaccinnes have shown they essentially eliminate COVID deaths:

By those measures, all five of the vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson — look extremely good. Of the roughly 75,000 people who have received one of the five in a research trial, not a single person has died from Covid, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. None have remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving a shot.

To put that in perspective, it helps to think about what Covid has done so far to a representative group of 75,000 American adults: It has killed roughly 150 of them and sent several hundred more to the hospital. The vaccines reduce those numbers to zero and nearly zero, based on the research trials.

Zero isn’t even the most relevant benchmark. A typical U.S. flu season kills between five and 15 out of every 75,000 adults and hospitalizes more than 100 of them.


2020. A year that will go down in infamy. Despite the plague and anxiety and stress of The Great Stay Home that made some days feel like weeks and weeks like years, looking back, 2020 turned out pretty good – mainly thanks to the same reason every year prior turned out pretty good – the amazing Ana. We are where we are now compared to a year ago (two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago) because of Ana’s drive, dedication, planning, commitment, love, dreams, and absolute devotion to our family.

Where 2020 went right for us:

  • Work: We were both blessed to have jobs that allowed flexibility when working from home, especially when it involved keeping two little ones home as well. There was stress and a little chaos and moments of uncertainty, but compared to so many others we were lucky.
  • Home: 2021 finds us in a new home, our dream home, and the process of selling one home and buying another in the middle of a plague certainly wasn’t without stress, but also went about a smoothly as one could hope. The old house will be missed – it’s where we brought both boys home, it’s where we grew our family, but the new place is already feeling like home because it’s where the family is.
  • The Boys: Six and three already and where has the time gone? The nearly six months where Sammy and Jasper were home with us all day, every day, seem so long ago and feel like they went by so fast and were fun time that will feel like a missed opportunity when we look back on it years from now. There will be no other time in our lives where we’ll have that length of a stretch of time together as a family. While it was hardly a vacation because of both of us having to work and COVID restrictions, having that time to see the boys grow and play and learn and just be amazing little dudes and brothers and sons was a blessing is so many ways.
  • Ana: Of course she gets another shoutout, she deserves a million shout outs. Everything that went right in 2020 had Ana at its core. Everything that went wrong in 2020 had Ana as part of the solution. She makes me a better person – makes me want to be a better person. A better man, husband, father, everything.

If you’d had told me a year ago that’d I’d be where I am right now, even if you glossed over all that 2020 stuff in between, I wouldn’t have believed you.

It’s been a heck of a year, 2020. I’m ok with 2021 being a little quieter. As long as it’s with Ana and the boys.

Coronavirus: Day 122

22 days since the last update and what’s changed? Virginia’s entered into Phase 3 of reopening and numbers are starting to tick up. States that reopened without mask mandates are seeing record numbers. Even states with mask mandates are seeing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, people are debating whether or not our kids should be in school in the fall despite there being no vaccine and social distancing 6 year olds is a joke.

On the flip side, mass homeschooling isn’t a reasonable alternative for so many families where parents work (you know, most of them) or for families that may lack the steady resources necessary for online coursework – internet, computer, time.

By no means an easy decision no matter how hard someone screams about it on Facebook.

Coronavirus: Day 80

80 days. We’re in the 12th week of everyone being home. That’ll all change by the end of June with work places reopening and phases and such.

At some point in the past the the 5 year old picked up the chorus to REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You.” I’m very OK with that.

The 2 year old’s new thing is to react to smells by holding his nose and stating “What’s that pee-ew?” I’m very OK with that.

On Recent History

There have been multiple days of demonstrations and riots throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd. There’s a lot to be said, but it’s tough to approach the right way. Noting it here, maybe for posterity, maybe to come back to with clearer thoughts in the near future.

What I can say now is that I do understand that my place as a white male who grew up in the suburbs gives me a very limited, very different, very sheltered perspective. I can tell myself it’s an objective view, but it’s tainted by my experiences that, while not invalid, are significantly less relevant than so many others impacted and involved.

Just stay safe, everyone. And respect each other.

Coronavirus: Day 75

The 5 year old had a Google Hangout for school today with some classmates and the guidance counselor. They spoke about feelings and read “Worry Says What?” and I think I got more out of the session than he did.

After the reading and a few activities, the counselor wrapped with three takeaways for when you’re feeling worried or down:

  1. Think about things you’re thankful for
  2. Get some energy out by exercising
  3. Do something fun

Noted, guidance counselor. Noted.

Blogged a couple times today.

Welp, this happened: