New COVID-19 Guidelines: When Can We Get “Back to Normal?”


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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Ainsley Kling, News Editor

The United States is now vaccinating more than two million people per day. A total of 18.1% of the United States population has received one dose, and that number is growing every day. The number of fully vaccinated people is a lot smaller, at 9.4%, but again, this is number is growing. This is leading to many people questioning when we can get back to normal. For people wishing to get back to pre pandemic normalcy, the recent CDC guidelines both offers a glimmer of hope and a harsh reality. 

The CDC has now set guidelines for when a fully vaccinated person can visit with other fully vaccinated people, as well as if they can visit unvaccinated people. The CDC stressed that even if you are vaccinated, all prevention strategies should be employed in public settings, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

However, the guidelines for fully vaccinated people have loosened significantly. If you are fully vaccinated, you can now interact with other fully vaccinated people without social distancing and a mask. When interacting with unvaccinated people, you must still wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance. The one major bonus is that if you have been exposed to someone with COVID, you have been vaccinated, and have no symptoms you don’t have to quarantine or go get tested. 

The vaccines coming out does not mean that everything will be going back to normal. States such as Texas and Missississppi have lifted the mask mandate, but public health officials are warning them against these unsafe measures.

However, the mask mandates vary county by county. NBC even reported that the CDC Director Rochelle Walenskeven said, “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard earned ground we have gained.” The COVID-19 vaccines are now allowing us to see and grasp the future but we must remain vigilant for a few more months until the entire population has been safely vaccinated. According to the White House, all adults should be vaccinated by the end of May just in time for the summer holidays.

We still have a great many hurdles to cross, including vaccinating most of the population, as well as getting it approved for children. The development and implementation of the COVID vaccine has been recorded fast, and we must have a little bit more patience before we get back to the pre-pandemic way of life.