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Love Riddles? The CDC’s New Guidance on COVID-19 Isolation Is for You

Jim Carey laughs as The Riddler in key art from Batman Forever

As if everyone weren’t angry enough over the CDC’s recent decision to reduce quarantine time for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases from ten days to five, the health organization is back with another guidance on isolation that is essentially a little riddle.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted: “The CDC has updated its isolation guidance. They still don’t recommend a rapid test after 5 days, but say if you take one and it’s positive, isolated people should continue isolating for 5 more days. Those who leave isolation are urged not to fly on planes or eat in restaurants.”


So if you take a rapid test and it’s positive, you should keep isolating, but also you shouldn’t take rapid tests. Also, they seem to know a lot of people are not isolating but really still hope those people are responsible enough not to fly or eat in restaurants? Is that it? Or are they saying that after the full five days of isolation, you still shouldn’t do those things? And if so, when can you?

No one seems to know.

People are having fun with it, at least.

Honestly, if the CDC is just issuing us riddles so we don’t have time to be angry over the lack of helpful guidance during a pandemic, well, it’s not really working but nice effort, I suppose.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.