The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) picked a curious moment to ease up on its recommendations for the isolation of people infected with COVID-19.  

On Monday, the CDC announced it has shortened the recommended isolation time for people with COVID-19 from 10 days to five days if they don’t exhibit any symptoms — and a test is not required. Additionally, they are advised to wear a mask around others for at least five more days beyond that.

The recommended quarantine time for vaccinated people exposed to the virus has also been reduced to five days

The moment to announce these alterations for what are already confusing guidelines is striking since COVID’s omicron variant is surging around many parts of the country. (Given our pandemic history, this is likely a preview of coming attractions for this area.)

However, officials said they are making the changes in part BECAUSE of the surge in the new variant.

“Not all of those cases are going to be severe. In fact, many are going to be asymptomatic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told The Associated Press. “We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

The social media reaction from health experts to the CDC recommendations has been extremely mixed.

For instance, Dr. Lean Wen, who is a CNN analyst, tweeted that the modification is necessary “to prevent collapse of critical infrastructure. The US will soon surpass our previous peak of infections & could top 1 million new cases a day.”

However, Dr. Eric Fiegl-Ding, an epidemiologist, health economist and a senior fellow with a Federation of American Scientists (and who, by the way, was raised in South Dakota), criticized the recommendations, saying, “… this lackadaisical pandemic management approach will only PROLONG the pandemic and worsen the transmission and hospital system crisis longer!” He also questions (and rightly so, sadly) the reliability of the honor system, which would trust people to decide for themselves when they are well enough to return to work.

While understanding the need for the CDC to adapt to changing science, this decision at this time does seem nervously questionable, especially given that the variant now marching around the globe and across the U.S. has only been on our radar for a little more than a month. While early indications suggest that omicron infections may not be as severe as past COVID waves, there are still segments of the population that are susceptible to the variant — including younger people, who are seeing their infection numbers rise.

And while keeping businesses and infrastructure — including health care facilities — up and running is certainly important, it’s also essential to get a handle on the surge and contain its impact.

They best way to do that is to proceed on the side of caution, and that still includes getting vaccinated and masking up in public situations when you cannot socially distance. And it should also embrace the most conservative measures to keep the spread of the variant in check.

The CDC may ultimately be proven wise in this approach, but at this juncture, with a new surge on the rise, it doesn’t seem like a good time to gamble on that possibility.

kmh

(16) comments

SoDakD

One thing is definitely NOT a gamble: Anti-vaxers like Abe, Voice, Larry and their friends will never change their minds about getting vaccinated.

In fact they’ll use this CDC announcement as proof of their suspicions.

As a result, it may be possible that this CDC policy change represents a tacit acceptance of this sad reality and society’s need to continue functioning anyway in the face of an epidemic that will always be with us.

This is our “new normal” as so many Trumpsters refuse to vaccinate.

Abe

You are such a ridiculous farce.

SoDakD

Actually, the silence of Abe, Voice and Larry over the last few days may be their consternation now that Trump has stopped “downplaying” (his words) the pandemic and questioning the vaccines.

Trump's now PUSHING vaccination!? He raises his voice and implores Americans to, “TAKE THE VACCINE !!” He finally believes in medical science!!

Of course it’s too late for thousands of dead Americans. The vaccines have been around for a year now. But better late...

“The vaccines work, … the ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine!”

Hard to believe these are The Donald’s words. But here’s the YouTube clip:

https://youtu.be/hSfeCqKty9o

So what do anti-vax Trumpsters do now?

Abe, Voice and Larry were probably as stunned by Trump's turnaround as I was. Seems like these folks and their fellow anti-vax Trumpsters have three choices:

1)- Reject Mr. Trump. He’s betrayed them. Or,

2)- Admit they were wrong all along. Trump has spoken.

3)- Pretend it never happened and continue spreading their anti-vax misinformation.

Is it number one? Number two? Number three?

I’d bet against number two.

Is there a number four?

Abe

New York Covid Hospitalizations have reached 5,500 for the first time since February 2021 and are up 190% since Nov. 1st

83% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 71% are fully vaccinated.

How is this a pandemic of the unvaccinated?

SoDakD

Sadly it’s definitely NOT a pandemic affecting just the unvaccinated, Abe. It affects all of us.

But the one fact that undoes all your misinformation is that the unvaccinated are almost FIFTEEN times more likely to die than the rest of us.

SoDakD

OK, Abe, I guess this means you’re choosing option number three. (Pretend Trump never said this and continue spreading anti-vax misinformation.)

So does this mean that Mr. Trump is “a ridiculous farce” now that he agrees with me and not you with all your MAGA-Land misinformation?

I’ll try to remember to ask you again if you can’t think of an answer just yet.

Abe

HaHa... MAGAland. That's rich.

By the way, NFL is choosing drugs like Ivermectin to treat their assets.

SoDakD

So, once again, Abe. Has Mr. Trump become “a ridiculous farce” now that he agrees with me?

Abe

Oh, another important notice: Robert Malone was just kicked off Twitter. I guess those birds don't like it when people tell the truth.

SoDakD

Focus, Abe.

Once again, has Mr. Trump become “a ridiculous farce” now that he agrees with me?

SoDakD

So Abe is going to pretend Trump never undercut his anti-vax position.

He just drills down on his usual misinformation like nothing has changed. (Horse wormer, anyone?)

Even Trump couldn’t keep up such nonsense. (Though he did hold out for a very looong time.)

But, VOICE and LARRY, where are you guys now? Now that Trump has left you fellas twisting in the wind with your anti-science misinformation.

A major part of the right wing ecosystem is freaking out. Surely you’ve noticed.

(Of course another major part of this unique community is diligently ignoring the elephant in the room like ABE.)

So what’s your pick, guys? (See above.) Is it number one? Number two? Number three? Is there a number four?

Let’s hear from you. You’ve seldom been silent for so long.

Abe

I'm not concerned about Donald Trump. I'm believing that there are adults in control of the USA and what we are witnessing is the continued drainage of the DC swamp, et al.

I'm more concerned about this covid mess, especially for the fact that people like you are willing to yield to big pharmacy choke hold on our personal liberties. And, before you reply with the usual chatter about personal responsibilities to ensure the safety of our fellow citizens, please help me understand why you're so adamant about the "official" numbers as reported by the three letter agencies.

Of course, covid is the cause for so many unnecessary deaths, but only because of the treatment protocols. Prove to me that Remdisivir and intubation have successfully treated covid patients. Prove to me that the aforementioned treatments have not caused death. Prove to me that the vaccines actually vaccinate and have not caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and/or serious injuries.

Then I want to know how you can possibly mock those who've successfully treated covid with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, etc. The people of India will defy you because it worked in a state of 24 million citizens, yet you continue to joke about "horse paste". If you truly cared about the health of all people everywhere, you would choose the proven drugs over an experimental dose of an "injectable operating system".

Yes, please tell all of us in our ever-increasing crowd of skeptics, why your side demands people to follow the orders of the system that continues to fail us from Fauci all the way down to our local MD's.

Your foolishness is heartbreaking and irresponsible. It's time you and your ilk begin using some critical thinking skills to get to the truth.

SoDakD

The one, simple fact that undoes all your misinformation is that the unvaccinated are almost 15 times more likely to die than the rest of us.

This 15 to 1 statistic would still be the determinative number even if all your misinformation were true.

And even if the courts decide your concept of liberty requires that vaccinations can never be mandated, I still can see that the odds clearly fall on the side of vaccination as the best way to fight this plague - both for myself as an individual and for ourselves as a nation.

The growing surge of this most recent Covid variant, Omicron, may not lead your “ilk” to abandon your magical thinking, but for my ilk the writing has been on the wall for some time.

And those initial warning words have grown into a massive list of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths.

SoDakD

I notice that you Voice and Larry still have no response to Trump’s abandoning you and embracing the vaccine.

Abe

Well Sod, that's because we are so much further ahead of you in our research and facts. While you continue to suckle on the rot that comes from the leftist-controlled media, we've found real journalism that informs us of the truth and points out the liars.

Oh boy, the NFL as well as Congress are using "horse paste" to live through the covid PLANDEMIC. What say you... schnooky?

SoDakD

That's no answer, Abe.

I’ll remind you once again: No matter how you try to spin the facts, it’s overwhelmingly UNVACCINATED folks who are being hospitalized and dying.

Even ex-president Trump acknowledges this and urges you to get vaccinated. Why do you continue to refuse the advice of your party’s leader?

It makes your position seem suicidally irrational.

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