We were almost there.
That’s the most frustrating thing about the most recent announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that even those who are fully vaccinated against the disease should return to wearing masks indoors in cities that are COVID-19 hot spots. It was only two months ago the CDC said we could put our masks away.
We were this close to getting this thing under control, to seeing one another smile, to cookouts, to visiting grandpa, to signing off Zoom, to normal. Now we see it all slipping away as inexorably as the tide going out. We return to masking up, hiding our faces like bank robbers.
Some of us are vexed over the shifting guidelines, but you won’t get an amen from this corner. Scientists have to follow science, and if this is where the science leads, so be it. No, if you’re looking to apportion blame, blame the delta variant. And blame those people who refused to wear masks or be vaccinated, and the public officials who seconded them. Blame the ones who said these were matters of “personal choice.” As if personal choice supersedes public interest.
And how often have we seen stories about those same people, newly repentant and freshly contrite, their minds changed after coming nose to nose with their own mortality, courtesy of COVID?
“I thought it was a joke,” an Arkansas man named Lamonte Boyd recently told CBS News.