Nobody likes wearing masks. We all look forward to the time when they will no longer serve a useful purpose. Unfortunately, that day has not yet come. Both the CDC and the Maine CDC have jumped the gun.
Any competent physician or public health expert will tell you that herd immunity is not reached until at least 80 percent of a given population has achieved natural or vaccine-induced immunity. We are nowhere near that threshold. These decisions were politically motivated, and not based on hard science.
I will be dismayed, but not surprised, if we now see an uptick in infection, illness and death. The burden lies squarely on the shoulders of officials who made a deeply flawed error in judgment. As far as I’m concerned, the national and state CDC have just damaged their credibility.
The nation’s largest nurse’s union, National Nurses United, has just come out with a strong statement condemning the CDC’s new mask guidance. Nurses know what’s at stake. They live on the front lines. Even if public health authorities reverse their guidance, nobody will listen. The barn door is open, and nothing will coax people to resume wearing masks. In a season overburdened with disasters and missteps, we can add one more to the list.