The CDC changed their COVID guidelines again. Now, if a person is asymptomatic after testing positive, they only need to isolate for five days instead of ten. Of course, this happens as the headlines are screaming about record setting infection rates. This is quite typical of how the pandemic has been handled from the beginning. I find it exceedingly frustrating.
The CDC, of course, swears that the change in guidance is based strictly on science. It’s just a strange coincidence that the change happened days after airline executives begged the CDC for these exact new standards. It reminds me of when the social distancing guidelines went from six feet to three feet at the same time people were desperate to get all the kids back to in person learning. I’m sure that was science based, too. Another strange coincidence. It had nothing to do with the impossibility of six-foot social distancing in overstuffed American classrooms.
When the Omicron variant was first detected, we implemented a travel ban. . . that would take effect the next week. They said that they had to give people time to get out. What on earth is a travel ban supposed to do if you let people travel before it goes into effect?
In April of 2020, we were told that cloth masks were useless. Then, they became effective. Now they may be useless again. They’ve also flip-flopped on rapid vs. PCR tests.
We’ve been simultaneously told that there’s no need for fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors and that fully vaccinated people can still catch and spread the disease.
I’m aware that this is a rapidly changing situation and that the science is nowhere near settled. I’m also aware that it’s possible that different strains react differently to different types of masks and vaccines and social distancing guidelines. I might have sounded cynical before, but it really might be a coincidence that the guidelines change in a way that suits business interests. I don’t know. I’m not a scientist and I haven’t done my own research.
What I do know, though, is that changing things as often as they are is really bad policy. This is what I’ve been talking about when I’ve said that we shouldn’t “listen to science” since science doesn’t say anything. There’s no reason to trust science either. It’s not something that can be trustworthy or not. The science is nothing more than information. Policymakers have to use that information to create policies that will align with our values.
The impression being given by the current policies is that business interests are more important than people’s health and safety. Whatever the science, that’s the message when the airlines say they have to cancel too many flights with a ten-day isolation period and then the rules suddenly change to a five-day isolation period. Even if the science definitively shows that five days is enough, we would have been better off leaving it at ten. At least until after the holiday rush. We live in a society, not a science experiment. Consistency goes a long way.
I’m triple-vaxxed. I’ll get another booster in a few months if that’s what they tell me to do. I still wear a mask everywhere I go. It’s barely an inconvenience. Better safe than sorry. But the scientists and government officials have done absolutely nothing to reassure me or gain my trust through any of this. It’s not crazy for someone to take that distrust and protest or go against recommendations. It’s almost impossible for people to behave rationally when they are constantly lied to and jerked around. It’d be nice if someone with some power realized that.