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You can lose the mask if you’re fully vaxxed

Do your part, reap the reward.

Federal health officials reversed course Thursday and advised that people who are fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks and observing social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings.

It’s welcome news for many who have grown weary of the safety precautions more than 14 months into the global public health crisis and is a significant milestone in returning to pre-pandemic life. But the announcement will likely give new life to the debate about requiring vaccinations that has been playing out in Texas and across the nation — and it comes as less than a third of Texans are fully vaccinated.

“We have all longed for this moment,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said from the White House on Thursday. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

But Walensky cautioned that the CDC’s guidance comes with exceptions. Vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and distance themselves from others in medical settings and around high-risk populations, such as doctor’s offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities, and while traveling aboard airplanes, busses and trains. Incarcerated people and people in homeless shelters should also continue to observe safety precautions.


More than 11 million Texans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, according to state data. Nearly 31% of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated. But the rate at which Texas is vaccinating its residents has slowed despite ample supply. An April poll by the University of Texas at Austin and The Texas Tribune found that 36% of Texans said they were either reluctant to receive the vaccine or would refuse to get it, including nearly half of the state’s Republicans.

Peter Hotez, a preeminent infectious disease expert and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said on Twitter that he supported the announcement, but that it carries a risk in places like Texas.

“COVID19 immunization rates in my part of the country, TX + South, are still lagging the rest of the nation, so I worry about a 5th wave this summer in the South like last summer,” he said.

As noted in the story, this comes on the heels of the approval of the vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds. I’ve already seen pictures of a bunch of my friends’ kids getting their first shot; ours will do so later today. Our vaccination numbers in Texas can certainly be better, but that’s one part helping people overcome the obstacles in their path to getting a shot, and one part giving whatever answers or reassurances the hesitant folks have. Not much you can do about the flat-out resisters, but if we can limit the damage to just them we’ll be all right. I also suspect that over time we’ll see higher vax numbers in the urban areas than elsewhere, or at least we will if we do the job of making it as accessible as possible. In the meantime, those of us who have gotten our shots can show our faces again, and just in time for summer. That’s gonna feel good.

(To be sure, some number of unmasked people are the same chuckleheads who refuse to be vaccinated, and they’ve been walking around unmasked for a long time now. There is an argument that the CDC’s new guidance isn’t a good idea. And of course, individual retailers and restaurants and what have you may continue to require masks in their establishments for the time being, since there’s no way to tell who is and isn’t vaccinated. You can take your mask off where you can if you’re vaxxed, just as always be thoughtful and considerate about it.)

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  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I would think leftists would follow the lead of revered liberal activist and Harvard student, David Hogg:

    Keep wearing masks everywhere, so you don’t accidentally get mistaken for a Trump supporter. I mean, it’s OK now to just admit that the whole thing was merely an exercise in virtue signalling, so keep on doing it, so we can all tell who is who.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    More pro-mask virtue signalers:

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Fauci recently admits in testimony that 40-50% of the FDA and CDC’s own staff are not vaccinated, and I’m sure they were all offered it.

    Having said that, Fauci changes his opinions, recommendations, and facts like most of the rest of us change underwear, so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into this admission. Maybe he didn’t realize this would hurt whatever the narrative was that day.

  4. SocraticGadfly says:

    Walmart has said you don’t need a mask …. but of course will NOT check for a vaccination card. Trader Joe’s has said the same, and will surely act the same.

  5. SocraticGadfly says:

    It’s OK to state for the record that everything Bill Daniels says on this issue is MAGA virtue signaling.

    Bill, it’s even OK for you to admit it.

    It’s also OK for you to STFU if you won’t.

    And, no, I’m not returning to hear crickets.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    I recognized the reality a long time ago. When people were packing up from work, for the two weeks to stop the spread, I said I’ll see ya in a year. In fact, most of them are not back yet, and it’s been over a year.

    How quickly two weeks to flatten the curve turned into get vaccinated or else.

    It was clear to me that the swamp was moving to protect its sinecures and its power, and its ability to take money out of the pockets of everyone.

    The event that showed me that this wasn’t ever about The Science was when racial protests were OK, were even a health benefit, but if you went to a motorcycle rally, that was a super spreading event. The news continued to lie, or present a fearsome picture, and I began my research and independent fact checking. I remember when ABC reported that a funeral home in El Paso had 200 decedents waiting to go some place. The frightening story even showed the refrigerated room supposedly full of the hundreds of bodies. I called the funeral home. They were very nice when I asked how can they have such a backlog. They replied that they are a small business with six funeral homes across the El Paso area, and the total is for six funeral homes, not one, and further, that they had a large number of decedents who were being buried in Mexico. Shipping a body out of the country, even just down the street to Juarez, requires a lot of signatures and permits, as well as arrangements needing to be made for a funeral home in Mexico to receive the body. So, while the news didn’t lie, it twisted the facts to present a much scarier story. As my research and fact checking has continued, this pattern has continued.

    The vaccines are not FDA approved. They have emergency use authorization. I’m not saying that they aren’t safe. Not saying they don’t work. Just stating a fact. They are not FDA approved. There is also a paper that found that mRNA vaccines induce reprogramming of innate immune response and may cause other vaccinations to not work. NOTE: I have not read the paper yet and determined their methodology, AND this has not yet been peer reviewed. SO PLEASE stand by. The paper is posted here:

    You can wear a mask all that you want, in fact, this time of year, with spring and tree pollen and grass pollen, a lot of people in Houston have always worn a dust mask to keep their allergies down. Do your own research; defund the CDC, and Fauci and others should be in prison.

  7. C.L. says:

    Thank you, Dr. Hochman, for your excellent analysis of the scientific facts.

  8. Manny says:

    The Tin hatter (Bill Daniels) and the liar that would be the bot known as Jason.

    FDA did approve the covid vaccines for emergency use.

  9. Jason Hochman says:

    Liar here. EUA and approval are two different mechanisms. I stated in my comment that the vaccines have emergency use authorization. Not approval.
    FACT CHECK: That statement is true.

    Now please explain why we believe that three year olds are old enough to consent to hormone treatment to transition gender, but adults must be ordered to wear a masks, or get vaccination.

  10. Política comparada says:


    Peter J. Hotez, et al., ‘Producing a Vaccine Requires More Than a Patent: Intellectual Property Is Just One Piece of an Elaborate Process.’ FOREIGN AFFAIRS (May 10, 2021).

  11. Manny says:

    Jason, please explain how a bot created in Russia can engage in commenting on a blog in Houston, Texas?

    Or if you prefer, why does the sun rises in the east and not in the west, south, or north?

    You are not the brightest bulb in the group Jason.

    You are a liar, Jason. You stated, “The vaccines are not FDA approved.” But, of course, that is a lie; the CDC approved the vaccines for emergency use. But then again, maybe it is the bot in you that has trouble communicating?

    But you, Jason, are a persistent liar. Where are three-year-olds allowed to consent to hormone treatment? Maybe the Russian bot in you fails to understand that the parent of the child must consent?

  12. Jason Hochman says:

    The vaccines are not FDA approved. Then you say that the CDC approved the vaccines for emergency use. The CDC is not the FDA. CDC doesn’t approve medicaments. The emergency use authorization approval is NOT the same as FDA approval.

    FACT CHECK: Your statements are false and rambling.

  13. Manny says:

    Correction, FDA approved vaccines for emergency use.

    Still a liar, Jason the russian bot.

  14. Jason Hochman says:

    Emergency use authorization is not the same as approval.

    FACT CHECK: correct, EUA and approval are NOT the same. A lying Russian is correct.

  15. Manny says:

    Dumb, dumber, and then Jason.

    The word that goes before Emergency Use is approval for emergency use.

    Besides, that occurred while your god, Trump, was there.

    But what about the three-year-old that can give consent? Where is that happening, Jason, the Russian bot?

  16. Manny says:

    The two-week flattening the curve was Trump, your god’s idea.

    Dang lying Republicans and Russian bots.

  17. Jason Hochman says:

    FACT CHECK: There is a difference between Emergency Use AUTHORIZATION and FDA Approval.

    Here is one:
    “I’m not completely a girl,” said 7-year-old Maya, who is participating in the study. She was born male, but she began identifying as female as a 3-year-old.

    My Golden Hero, Trump, had the two weeks to flatten the curve, but I don’t know how it elongated into a year, maybe two years, as well as get vaccinated or else. Certainly Biden is not capable of planning anything. He will be talking to the press, and say “I shouldn’t answer any more questions, I’ll get in trouble.” Seriously? He’s supposed to be the most powerful man on the planet, but his boss, Mrs. Harris will whomp his head if answers questions?

    I actually was not a fan of Trump, but now I would like him to come back. A return to sanity, accountability, and transparency would be nice, with Trump back.

    The Swamp has been lying the whole time. They knew by March or April last year that the Imperial College terror forecast was false. They knew that for about 99.8% of people that the Covid illness would be just another cold or flu, and not the Deadliest Plague in History. They knew, but they had to kill the economy, and take many more lives than the illness ever would. Birx, Fauci, and that crew should be placed into prison.

  18. Manny says:

    Jason, I am not arguing that authorization is not approved; they are two different words. But before the Covid vaccines could be used, they had to be authorized/approved by the FDA.

    Your statement on the seven-year-old girl does not equate that she can consent to hormone treatment.

    The problem with you fascists, democracy haters is that you lie all the time about everything.

    Your world is not based on reality; “Trump, but now I would like him to come back. A return to sanity, accountability, and transparency would be nice, with Trump back.”

    Why not do the world a favor and inject yourself with bleach!

  19. C.L. says:

    Come back ? Re: “A return to sanity, accountability, and transparency would be nice, with Trump back.”

    You didn’t have any of those three things when he was President – what makes you think you’d have them if he was #47 ? Shit, DJT may be in prison (or at least sitting in a courtroom somewhere) come 2024 primary time.

  20. Jason Hochman says:

    Yes, Trump was bad, but he had a lot more accountability. the press hounded him with aggressive questioning, not the questions that Biden gets, which are something like, “we know you’re the greatest most empathic president ever, but how come you aren’t gettin’ a Nobel Prize?”

    There is no transparency. Nobody can see the cages at the border. Biden, nor his boss, Mrs. Harris, have been there yet. Senators were not allowed in. Nobody is asking about the kids in cages.

    When Biden takes questions from the press he says that he might “get into trouble.” What does that mean? He’s supposed to be the president, not a naughty child.

    They are claiming Covid deaths are 580,000. when Biden took office it was 400,000. So in just 100 days Biden killed 45% of the number that Trump killed in one year. Biden had the advantage of vaccines being in use when he took office.

    Can you explain how there is more transparency and accountability now?

  21. Manny says:

    Jason enough, listen to your sane god, Trump, inject yourself with bleach.