I have been both vaccinated and have had covid-19. The term super immunity has been used to describe people like me, yet in NJ, we were still told that masking was required.
If immunity through vaccination or from antibodies after covid-19 is effective, why the mask? Shouldn’t being immune allow us all to go maskless in most situations?
Our immune systems need exposure to everything in our environment to be effective as it defends us from everything. Isn’t that how things worked before the pandemic?
The CDC evaluated the current data and science and found that vaccinated people rarely transmit the virus, and the shots are effective against variants. They, therefore they realized that in most environments, masks are not needed for those who have been fully vaccinated, or had antibodies due to covid or both.
This past weekend I was in Florida and many areas feel like there was no pandemic however, certain stores and many people continue to wear masks even though science tells us it’s safe to take them off. Bars were full, restaurants were mostly maskless except for the serving staff and there have been no surges in cases. Perhaps herd immunity has already arrived in Florida.
In NJ, where our state began to follow the CDC’s recommendation just prior to the Memorial Day weekend, I was able to walk through Costco maskless because I was vaccinated and also had covid-19. I had no worries about doing this although I was clearly in the minority, as most people continued to wear masks. This may have been out of fear, or just out of habit, as I didn’t stop to ask.
Nationally, it is estimated that greater than 40 percent of the populace has been fully vaccinated. It is also been estimated that at least 100 million have had Covid-19 and have antibodies. This combined with the plummeting numbers of cases may mean the country is close to herd immunity as a whole.
As the numbers plummet, especially in NJ, it is highly likely we may be either close to or be at herd immunity. If so, and if the transmission rates are so low, it not only confirms the validity of the CDC recommendations but also tells us those who haven’t yet been vaccinated are at a reduced risk from those of us who either had it naturally and recovered or those who were fully vaccinated. In other words, the risks are very low, so, it’s safe to take the masks off.
Doctors and other professional spaces are still required to wear masks but this may be more due to caution by the governor of NJ who still is in control using the extended state of emergency.
Still wondering why the CDC says it’s ok to go maskless, check out this NY Times article.
Why the C.D.C. Changed Its Advice on Masks
Two scientific findings altered the calculus: Vaccinated people rarely transmit the virus, and the shots are effective against variants.
By Apoorva Mandavilli Published May 14, 2021
Advice from federal health officials that fully vaccinated people could drop their masks in most settings came as a surprise to Americans, from state officials to scientific experts. Even the White House got less than a day’s notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the press secretary, Jen Psaki, said at a news briefing on Friday.
“The C.D.C., the doctors and medical experts there are the ones who determined what this guidance would be based on their own data, and what the timeline would be,” Ms. Psaki said. “That was not a decision directed by or made by the White House.”
For months, federal officials have vigorously warned that wearing masks and social distancing was necessary to contain the pandemic. So what changed?