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Feds urge Bostonians and visitors to the city to start wearing masks indoors again even if fully vaccinated

The CDC is out with updated Covid-19 recommendations that call for "fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission" because of the risk posed by the Covid-19 delta variant. Suffolk County is an area of "substantial" transmission, the government says.

Suffolk County also includes Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.

Other recommendations include telling people with immune problems - or who have household members with immune problems - to wear masks even in areas with low transmission.

Also, fully vaccinated people should get tested if they have a known exposure to somebody with a suspected or confirmed case and should "wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result."

Also:

CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

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Comments

If you are standing in front of the CVS on Comm. Ave by St. Paul Street you are in a high transmission area. If you walk inside the CVS, since it is in Norfolk County, you are cool as school.

Moral of the story - Blanket government warnings by county are lazy. When there is a EEE victim, they go "Plymouth County Man Sick With EEE". There is a big difference in terrain between Hull and Lakeville.

Our government should be more specific. You can't tell me a packed restaurant in Coolidge Corner has a lower transmission rate than a social club in East Boston.

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Voting closed 53

I understand and agree with your point but what restaurant is "packed" in Coolidge Corner? Like, MAYBE Zaftigs on a Sunday morning or something?

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Only siths deal in absolutes

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John, you’re responding to a local news site story, which includes a county, which includes a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control. How specific do you need it to be?

Does it need to say “Earth - USA - Suffolk - John Costello” for you to heed?

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That's funny... My report specifically mentions John Costello must wear a mask

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In most of the country, counties are a lot more relevant than they are in Massachusetts. And county lines are a lot less random than they are here.

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If mask are still required, then why vaccinate or get booster shots

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Is the plain enough for you?

The shots may not stop everybody from getting sick, but they are stopping most people who have gotten them from dying. The masks help reduce the spread, both among people who got shots but might still have a vulnerability or among the clueless.

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It's one of my daily goals, after all.

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One of the ways vaccines were pitched to those who may have been on the fence is that once you get the jab (or jabs) you will be able to do away with things like masks and going back to a normal, or at least near normal, life. Now we're being told "not so much."

Look, there's a reason for the advisory, and I've found myself wearing masks when I didn't need to of late, but still, it's sad that even though Massachusetts did a good job getting vaccinated, we're still at the same place we were a year ago.

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A year ago I was very concerned that I would catch COVID and die. I reduced that risk with a mask.

Now I'm concerned that I will test positive and maybe feel crappy. I reduce that risk with a mask.

That is a huge difference, thanks to vaccination.

Not wearing a mask was nice for a while, but not worrying about DYING is more than worth having gotten a vaccination.

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I'm of the mind I'd rather take my chances with the virus vs wearing a mask which I find uncomfortable. I'm vaccinated so I'm no longer concerned about death or serious complications. Anyone who can get vaccinated but refuses to is a fool who should be forced to stay home.

I carry a mask with me and I fully respect any store which has a "everyone masked" policy.

But unless asked by the store, I don't wear masks. I don't find the discomfort to be worth the slight increase in protection.

I do respect those who would prefer to wear masks themselves - do what you feel is best for yourself.

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I'm vaccinated so I'm no longer concerned about death or serious complications.

As has been explained over and over and over, vaccinated individuals can get a mild case of the disease, likely without symptoms or with minimal symptoms, and can spread the virus to others. It’s unlikely, but not impossible. Given how little cost and inconvenience is associated with wearing a mask when I go into a store, even if it’s only offering a one in a million chance that it’ll save someone else’s life, those seem like great odds to me, so I wear one.

I do respect those who would prefer to wear masks themselves - do what you feel is best for yourself.

The entire point of the epidemiology here is that the calculus isn’t about what is “best for yourself.” Does the well being of others not factor in at all? Compare with: “I do respect those who would prefer to drive only when sober — do what you feel is best for yourself.”

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Voting closed 37

COVID -- just like everything else we do in public -- is always a numbers game. Before widespread vaccination the risk to others was high enough to warrant masks, distancing, etc.

Now the calculus has changed to make it the same as other things society finds to be an acceptable risk.

No Mask, No Vaccine = drunk driving
No Mask + Vaccine = Sober driving, following speed limits.

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No Mask, No Vaccine = drunk driving
No Mask + Vaccine = Sober driving, following speed limits.

what if the NHTSA temporarily recommends a lower than typical speed limit due to a rash of exploding cars? following your analogy i’m to understand that you would obey the new speed limit, right?

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Isn't this more like the NHTSA recommending a low speed limit for everyone to protect people who don't like seatbelts and were told by Fox not to trust them?

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but i was trying to stick to his framework

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There are two main factors that should go into any risk calculation. They are:

  1. The likelihood of an event occurring
  2. The consequences if it does

...and, of course, "consequences" fans out into "consequences to whom". Your "calculus" does not seem to fully consider these two main factors. The likelihood of a vaccinated person becoming infected with covid is small compared to an unvaccinated person, but with the delta it's a lot higher than zero. CDC's brief dated yesterday puts the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines at preventing symptomatic infection at 86% - so, 14% getting symptomatic infections, total percentage getting infected is higher by some unknown percentage. It's not a really small number, and ALL of those people can pass it on to others, to whom the consequences of infection may be very serious. So, in summary, I question whether "Sober driving, following speed limits" is really a good analogy.

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The CDC and other government authorities should require everyone who is medically capable of receiving a vaccine to get the shot(s) or be confined to their home.

Any store which isn't requiring a vaccination (for those who can receive one) isn't concerned about public health. Quibbling about masks misses the point -- people who are vaccinated face vastly less at risk to themselves and others.

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but you know that a vaccine mandate will never happen in the united states at any level – national or otherwise – so what are you basing your decision making on?

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Wrong.

I'd be interested in the information you used to "calculate" this, though.

And what your public health credentials are.

The correct analogy would be "Vaccinated, no mask" = "Driving with a 0.07 BAL"

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Also with Delta whipping around I think thank God I got vaccinated and made sure people around me did and continue to push for access in my community. This variant is cutting through places like a hot knife through butter ...

It's all about minimizing the risk. I hate masks too so I carry one with me and use it when needed but honestly it's summer time, why do I need to be inside so often? Outside is a great place to do all sorts of things.

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Vaccinations were tested and evaluated for preventing hospitalization and death. Despite the virulence of the Delta strain, they are doing their job extremely well. Ignore that easily obtained prevention and natural selection just might select you for removal from the gene pool.

The fuck around part of the pandemic is over.

This is now the "and find out" part of the pandemic.

Fuck around, don't get vaccinated? You might find out what respiratory failure feels like.

Very, very simple.

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If seatbelts are required, then why have airbags? Or decent brakes and tires?

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But the struggling businesses and restaurants of Dedham thank the CDC for their kind intervention on their behalf.

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à votre santé

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and it seems like the subtext is that the CDC is just shooting from the hip. is that what people think?

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I think it's more a reaction to the consequences of restrictions - to businesses - while not recognizing the potential consequences to customers and workers of not having those restrictions. It's a natural tendency if your livelihood depends on a business that you think requires barefaced people.

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