And Just Like That, Masks Are No Longer Necessary

Forrest Gump, with his simple, commonsensical approach to life, often noted, “just like that” something changed. Whether it was the rain in Vietnam, his running adventure, or his Army service, “just like that” it was over.

Now after a year of mask-wearing, “just like that” it is no longer necessary per the CDC’s latest guidance. Last week the CDC suddenly reversed course with this new guidance.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.

Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.

What changed? Only a few months ago, last February, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that Americans may still need to wear face masks through 2022 to protect against the spread of COVID, emerging variants, and whatever else might escape from one of the labs he funded.

Around the same time, Dr. Fauci also recommended wearing two masks, “So if you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.” If one is good, two must be better. Why not 3 or 4 masks? Or ten? Or a hazmat suit for everyone?

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This is the same Dr. Fauci who said a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic,

There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.

Fauci wasn’t alone. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams at that same time agreed, stating:

You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider. Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.

We have now come full circle, from no masks, to one, to two, then back to one, now none. What changed? Has America reached herd immunity? Or is there some other metric that spurred the new CDC recommendation? Such as case numbers? Or President Biden’s poll numbers?

Herd immunity could explain the reversal, but the mere mention of this well-established immunology concept could get you banned from social media. The Federation of American Scientists believes half of those speaking about herd immunity are social media bots, worthy of censorship.

“Herd immunity,” a basic tenet of immunology, is now considered a fringe conspiracy theory. The WHO defines it as, “The indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.” Note the word “either,” two paths to the same goal, nature or a shot in the arm.

While this might explain the CDC's sudden reversal, this concept has not been mentioned.  In fact, such immunity is a myth according to the big media smart set.

The experts at the New York Times proclaim, “Reaching herd immunity is unlikely in the U.S., experts now believe.” They go further with this headline, “Our pathetic herd immunity failure.”

The Guardian is certain, “The US won’t reach herd immunity this year. So how will it live with Covid?” Yet here we are in mid-May, ditching the vaunted paper masks. Why?

Is COVID over? The NY Times worries, “Cases remain high in the U.S., but vaccinations are slowing.” If cases are indeed high, why again is the CDC recommending vaccinated individuals ditch the mask only now?

The CDC and the rest of the medical “experts” have yet to explain this conundrum. If masks work, why the push for the vaccine? If the vaccine works, why are we still masked up? It can’t be both ways.

Are vaccinated individuals truly protected from COVID? Nine fully vaccinated New York Yankees are test positive for COVID. Did the vaccine strike out? Is the COVID test off base? What’s going on?

Is the mask relaxation a “better late than never” acknowledgment that masks, especially now when the U.S. has likely already reached herd immunity, are little but virtue signaling fashion accessories similar to the myriad “awareness ribbons”?

Leftist David Hogg explains the real reason half the country, the “follow the science” crowd who now suddenly doesn’t believe the CDC, will stay masked up.

I feel the need to continue wearing my mask outside even though I’m fully vaccinated because the inconvenience of having to wear a mask is more than worth it to have people not think I’m a conservative.

David should rest assured that no one will ever mistake him for a conservative. He and his followers can stay masked up forever if they so choose. They can wear their masks and face shields while walking outside or driving alone, far away from any COVID carrying conservatives. To each his own.

The question remains. Why did the CDC reverse course now?

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky now claims, "We now have science that has really just evolved even in the last two weeks that demonstrates that these vaccines are safe, they are effective." As Gomer Pyle would say, “Shazam!” Just like that, the vaccines this past week, after five months of use, are suddenly safe and effective. What a coincidence!

In politics, there are no coincidences. This includes COVID which has been driven by politics from the very beginning, including hostility toward potential therapeutics, exuberance over emergency use experimental vaccines, school and business closures driven by political considerations rather than science, and constant agenda driven gaslighting by the media.

What is the political scene these days? In four months, America has gone from energy independence to gas lines. The Southern border is anything but, instead a wide-open door and completely out of control. War is brewing in the Middle East. Inflation and unemployment are on the rise, resurrecting the Misery Index and appropriate comparisons between Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter.

According to Rasmussen Reports, as of May 14, 40% of likely voters “strongly disapprove of Joe Biden’s job performance compared with only 30% who “strongly approve”. The media speaks of Biden’s cognitive capacity being in an “advanced state of decline.”

It’s time for a distraction, as in ditching the mask mandates. Conservatives will rejoice, taking a breath of fresh air, quite literally. Liberals will have something else to be pissed off over, promising to double down and wear two masks, forever, just to show the world that they know more than the CDC and are far more virtuous than everyone else.

America is a mess under Biden’s watch and now “just like that” everyone is now talking about masks.


Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.

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