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Masks Again?

Susan Estrich on

Months ago, when the CDC told us we could take our masks off, it was because they determined that vaccinated people did not have a high enough viral load to transmit the disease. So, we posed no risk to the unvaccinated. The delta variant is different. When they say it is highly contagious, that means that the viral loads carried by vaccinated people with no symptoms, or mild ones, are likely high enough for us to transmit the disease.

The CDC guidance provides that those who are immunocompromised or at particularly high risk if they get the disease should wear masks (it sounds like what they should really do is get the third shot from Pfizer, but of course, that would detract from the public health imperative of getting more people vaccinated).

The problem for me, at least, is that too many of those who are resisting vaccines are from communities of racial minorities. Among immigrants, the distrust of government is rooted in the fear of mistreatment, deportation and arbitrary treatment. Everyone has someone they are trying to help or protect.

The deep distrust of government "health" campaigns is rooted in the history of deportation and discrimination. It is certainly a product of fear of deportation in the Hispanic community and ugly history in the Black community. It is not just that Blacks have been systematically denied access to health care. What is worse is the history of Blacks being used for ugly experimentation, which is (to borrow a phrase from that terrifying trope "critical race studies") "baked in" to the Black experience of America.

It doesn't matter. Not here. There is a right choice and a wrong choice here. Race doesn't change what is right and what is wrong. The right choice is to be vaccinated.

 

The life you save is probably going to be your own, but it could also be the life of someone in your family who listened to you. Government is offering you a lifesaver, free of charge, no strings.

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To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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