No More Writing About Face Masks Without Emphasizing Vaccinations

Tara Parker-Pope, writing last week for The New York Times:

“I think the guidelines should be based on science and practicality,” said Dr. Marr. “People only have so much bandwidth to think about precautions. I think we should focus on the areas that have highest risk of transmission, and give people a break when the risk is extremely low.”

Dr. Marr uses a simple two-out-of-three rule for deciding when to wear a mask in public spaces or when she doesn’t know everyone’s vaccination status. In these situations, she makes sure she’s meeting two out of three conditions: outdoors, distanced and masked. “If you’re outdoors, you either need to be distanced or masked,” she said. “If you’re not outdoors, you need to be distanced and masked. This is how I’ve been living for the past year. It all comes down to my two-out-of-three rule.”

This is fine advice — for the unvaccinated. But those of us who are vaccinated have no need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors, other than for social compliance. This article should have been published months ago, not last week. Articles published now should emphasize that getting vaccinated is our way out of this “face masks everywhere you go” morass.

Monday, 26 April 2021