The Case for Wearing Masks Forever
A ragtag coalition of public-health activists believe that America’s pandemic restrictions are too lax—and they say they have the science to prove it.
Last December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was shortening the recommended isolation period for those with Covid-19 to five days. Getting exposed to the virus no longer meant that people needed to quarantine, either, as long as they were fully vaccinated and wore a mask. It was a big moment, and it occurred just as the Omicron variant was surging. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, a professor of urban policy and health at the New School, was livid.
Fullilove, who is Black, has spent her career studying epidemics: first aids, then crack, then multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. She has seen how disease can ravage cities, especially in Black and working-class communities. From the beginning, Fullilove was skeptical of how the federal government handled the coronavirus pandemic. But these new recommendations from the C.D.C., she said, were “flying in the face of the science.” Not long after the announcement, she sent an e-mail to a Listserv called The Spirit of 1848, for progressive public-health practitioners. “Can we have a people’s CDC and give people good advice?” she asked. A flurry of responses came back.
One of our country’s most important freedoms is that of free speech.
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