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The Weekend Politics Thread Is Still Wearing a Mask

Another Weekend Politics Thread, and you know what that means…another end…..to a week…..of politics, I guess.

The CDC says vaccinated people can “resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing” but how is everyone feeling about that? My workplace said, as of a couple days ago, that workers are no longer required to wear a mask. I’ve kept mine on, but I seem to be in the minority and the couple others I’ve seen at work in the past couple days without a mask are wearing them at the chin. I always thought people were doing that, so they could say, “See? I AM wearing my mask, wink-wink!” But it makes even less sense to me to wear them underneath your mouth if no one is requiring you to wear a mask.

The CDC’s new guidelines are based in good science, showing the vaccines work to protect the vaccinated, and also everyone else around them. If everyone were to follow the guidelines to the letter — with unvaccinated people continuing to wear masks and vaccinated people relaxing masking if they choose to — “then the transmission of the virus is going to be just astronomically reduced,” [infectious disease researcher A. Marm] Kilpatrick says, and the US could quickly end its epidemic.

But in the real world, there are unvaccinated people who choose not to wear masks. And because there’s generally no official way to verify a vaccinated person’s status, an unvaccinated person could get away with being unmasked.

It is possible that these unmasked, unvaccinated people could still seed some breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, and among themselves.

“As with any declaration, how people interpret this for their own individual circumstances will be hard to predict and hard to control,” Abraar Karan, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, writes in an email. “The CDC could have been clearer that while individuals could theoretically stop masking, there are reasons why community masking is still important.”


Israel and Hamas both claimed victory on Friday after their forces ended 11 days of fighting, but humanitarian officials warned that the damage to Gaza would take years to rebuild.

As Palestinians and Israelis began to assess the scale of the damage, one Gazan said his neighbourhood looked as if it had been hit by a tsunami. “How can the world call itself civilised?” Abu Ali asked, standing next to the rubble of a 14-storey tower block.

Palestinian officials put the reconstruction costs at tens of millions of dollars, while economists said the fighting could curb Israel’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five more bodies were pulled from Gaza’s rubble, taking the death toll to 243, including 66 children, with more than 1,900 wounded.


Be kind to one another! Let the politics thread be a place where even as we often discuss humanity at its worst, we can also demonstrate humanity aspiring for its best.