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Twitter, as Always, Is My Saving Grace After the CDC Announced Shorter Isolation Guidelines for COVID

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Yesterday, the CDC made a new recommendation in regards to the amount of time one should stay isolated when testing positive for COVID. Originally, the isolation period was 10 days starting from the time a person tested positive. Now? It’s five days, so long as the person hasn’t shown any symptoms during that period.

They also announced new quarantining guidelines for those who are vaccinated and who have had a booster shot. Vaccinated and boosted individuals who come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID can just… skip quarantining altogether if they wear a face mask for 10 days.


The new guidelines

Here are the full details of the new guidelines courtesy of USA TODAY:

Isolation: For those who are infected with COVID-19, isolation starts the day a person tests positive. The CDC now recommends isolating for five days and going back to normal activities if a person is not showing any symptoms after that period. Previously, the isolation period was 10 days.

Quarantine: For those who come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The CDC is now recommending those who are vaccinated and received a booster shot can skip quarantining if they wear a face mask for at least 10 days. If a person is vaccinated and has not gotten a booster, or if they are partly vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, the CDC recommends a five-day quarantine, then wearing a mask in public for an additional five days.

Previously, the CDC recommended unvaccinated individuals should quarantine for 10 days and those who were vaccinated could skip a quarantine.

It feels a bit odd to be reducing the isolation period when we’re in the middle of yet another variant. While omicron is said to cause milder illness, it has been spreading VERY quickly, as evidenced by the huge number of flight cancellations over the holiday weekend. As Celina Tebor of USA TODAY writes, “The changes come amid a recent surge in cases spurred by the omicron variant and concerns about staffing shortages at hospitals, airlines, and businesses across the country.”

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

Continue to keep society functioning, you say? That definitely sounds like a, “We need people to come back to work as fast as possible,” to me.

Now granted, this particular tweet was shared before the announcement, but it’s very much a true statement, one that is now, unfortunately, backed by these new guidelines – or, at the very least, these guidelines will be used by employers to get folks to come to work earlier than they should.

We know that variants like omicron can affect the vaccinated, they just won’t have nearly as miserable of a time as someone who isn’t vaccinated. That’s always been the point of vaccines and boosters, it’s not a cure, but it will make it easier if you are exposed. To me, that should mean that even if you’re vaccinated, you should still go through the entire process of getting tested and quarantining if you’ve been exposed.

This is especially true since we’re in that wonderful time of year where we play “is it a cold, the flu, allergies, or COVID?”

The thought of being exposed to COVID only to throw on a mask as if nothing happened feels beyond irresponsible. We’re coming out of a holiday weekend with another holiday approaching, now isn’t the best time to tell folks that they don’t have to isolate as long as they thought.

I’m kinda at the point where I’m running out of words to say about COVID and how it’s being handled. We went from starting the year with some inkling of “things have to be better than this” to “new year, new variant, new poorly planned regulations,” and I’m kinda lost on where to go from here.

Fortunately, Twitter’s always got my back on expressing my feelings in a variety of ways.


Thank you, Twitter(dot)com

The humor.

The “this should be humor but it’s hitting too close to the truth.”

The actually serious responses for when my brain can’t grasp onto the situation because, real talk, I’m so exhausted, y’all.

I will be throwing my hands in the air and reflecting on how nothing matters as we prepare to enter yet another year of COVID.

(Image: originally by Anton Gudim)

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Image of Briana Lawrence
Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)