Politics, Moderate



CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Americans Overlook the Needs of Anti-Social Comfort Enthusiasts

Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

News that fully vaccinated Americans can gather indoors with other vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing did not sit well with the burgeoning community of anti-social comfort enthusiasts, raising fears of a “pro-pants backlash.”

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced guidelines for the 30 million Americans who have now been fully vaccinated, hinting there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for those who have spent the past year separated from friends, family and co-workers.

In a statement, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said: “We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love.”

That statement overlooks the sizable swath of Americans who enjoy being pants-less and having a built-in excuse to not join friends or co-workers for trivia night.

The National Association of Hermits (NAH) responded to the CDC announcement with the following statement, foreshadowing myriad issues that workplaces, stores and other public venues will need to address in the months ahead:

“We at NAH believe all Americans should be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. It’s crucial for everyone’s health that we bring a swift end to the coronavirus pandemic. But we also recognize that giant steps have been taken over the past year to affirm Comfort Culture and the efficacy of working in loungewear, and we hope increased vaccinations and loosened restrictions don’t lead to a sudden renewal of workplace dress codes, shorts bigotry and begrudging attendance at Kevin’s ‘Wacky Wings Night’ every Thursday at the bar in your office building’s lobby.”


As a pants-averse NAH member in good standing (I have never attended an in-person meeting of this nonexistent group, thus earning Platinum Status), I applaud the association’s attention to this looming crisis.

According to NAH polling data, more than 50 percent of Americans who have been able to work from home during the pandemic feel “strongly” or “very strongly” opposed to returning to the confines of “traditional workplace attire.”

Respondents also reported a whopping 5 million percent reduction in small talk and not a single instance of exposure to “awkward accounts of marital woes” or “unsolicited news about Hank’s vasectomy reversal procedure.”

In addition, more than 40 percent of those polled said they feel “fairly anxious” that wearing their favorite sweatpants and a lightly stained T-shirt into the office and eating lunch “over the sink” will be frowned upon. (I, for one, do not want to live in a country where public displays of over-the-sink dining are frowned upon.)


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