Updated Mask Guidelines

This week, as the delta variant has spread, we’ve gotten new advice from the Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. I’m personally going with the stronger CDC advice.

New general advisory from DPH (July 30)

Today, in response to the emerging evidence of about the infectiousness of the Delta variant of the COVID virus, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a new mask advisory. Masks remain mandatory in certain locations where risks of transmission are higher (including public transportation) and are newly advised in some additional circumstances. The mask rules page on the state’s website now includes the following summary.

The Department of Public Health has issued a new mask advisory in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is an unvaccinated adult. Masks are still mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.

For full details, see this statement from DPH.

Fall school opening guidance from DESE (July 30)

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, working with the Department of Public Health issued health guidance for schools in the fall. The full guidance appears here. The following are highlights.

  • All schools shall be open for in person learning 5 days per week.
  • “Strongly recommend” that all students in kindergarten through grade 6 wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Masks are not necessary outdoors and may be removed while eating indoors.
  • “Strongly recommend” that unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors wear masks indoors, in alignment with the statewide advisory on masking.
  • Schools “Highly encouraged” to maintain or establish a robust plan for COVID-19 testing in schools, including both diagnostic testing and screening (pooled) testing for students and staff

CDC Guidance updates (July 27)

On July 27, the CDC strengthened their guidance for fully vaccinated people. The full guidance statement appears here and the bullets below are excerpted from that guidance.

  • Fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.

Additionally, CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Some comments from me

  • The advice is likely to continue to change. The medical understanding of the Delta variant is evolving. Emerging advice is based on weak consensus in conditions of uncertainty.
  • The CDC advice is stronger than both the DPH and DESE advice. Personally, I plan to follow the CDC advice. Official advice is always a compromise and one hears compromise even in the language of the CDC advice — “Fully vaccinated people might choose . . ..” Just guessing, but it appears that some of the people in the CDC’s guidance development process were pushing for even stronger guidelines. The most responsible approach would be to generally wear masks when you are indoors outside the home and are not eating. That would mean universal masking in schools.
  • Clearly DPH and DESE are choosing their own compromises in taking a softer position than the CDC. It is worth remembering that (a) the guidelines are designed to protect others as well as yourself; (b) medical advice always incorporates an implicit risk/return tradeoff. It is signals lack of concern for the possible health risks of others to not follow the DPH/DESE masking guidelines, but it is reasonable for people and communities to decide to go further than the DPH/DESE guidelines and even the CDC guidelines.
  • Almost everyone reading this post is already vaccinated, but if not . . . please get vaccinated!

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

Join the Conversation

71 Comments

  1. Thank you, Senator. I appreciate you summarizing this and your stance in terms of how to reconcile the guidance

  2. Hi Will – those vaccines are “leaky”; they don’t work as everyone was hoping they would. They won’t work for subsequent variants either. Would it be possible for you to find out which brand of vaccine is used in the country where the virus originated – China. They seem to have amazing low rate of infection and death, as can be seen here (scroll down to see the chart): https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    1. Depends on what you mean by work. It still looks quite clear that they protect the person getting the vaccine from serious illness. If you look closer at the Provincetown news you’ll notice almost a thousand cases and no deaths after a month, plus only seven, I think it was, hospitalizations. They got infected but were not seriously ill the vast majority of them that were vaccinated.

      What I guess the change is about is how well each vaccine interferes with community spread. Even pre-delta I never had a clear picture and had trouble finding many definitive studies to what degree they worked for that. Since my last look I guess some more studies have come out giving some evidence that they prevent spread of non-delta variants quite well.
      As far as the delta variant I haven’t found anything I can understand so far. Do we know anything? The health reporter at the NY Times put it that IF you are infected you may have the same load of SARS-CoV-2 as a non-infected person (for some period of your infection? 2 days in? after a week?). Then she writes that breakthough infections are exceedingly rare, seeming to want to reassure us that vaccines help with spread, but she uses 1% as representing rare. Hmmm. How does that number compare to unvaccinated people get infected in the same cohort? Aren’t order of magnitudes of 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 the kind we are trying to teach ourselves to take seriously so as to protect our fellow citizens, at least in some probabilistic way? But the reference for the 1% is a Kaiser Health News report which instead says substantially less than 1%, giving a number like 0.01% in Connecticut but a number like 0.9% in a southern state (which one I forget). What is that? Where is the inconsistency coming from in numbers like that? I don’t know what to make of it all. Very confusing.

      I’ll be masking up indoors just because it’s all so unclear. Btw. this is for the benefit of those who doubt and don’t get vaccines. I feel entirely safe for myself, having gotten both doses of Pfizer-Biontec. I plead with others on the left not to be cynical and take the approach of not masking on the thinking that those who won’t get vaccinated deserve what they get. Some people I care about are in that camp, so I hope you will all care about them too and do what you can. Also, it might be helpful to try not to make this the usual ideological battle. I’ve found with my loved ones who believe differently that when we don’t get along they go so far as to suppose the truth is the opposite of whatever I say. So if you want to convince don’t fight! Besides, is it such an evil to be concerned about erosion of civil liberties? We may prioritize differently but we’re all Americans and it is true that our liberties are important as well as our life.

    2. China doesn’t give out the correct numbers, we are supposed to believe where this virus started from is Number 107 as far as cases go ! No transparency About where it started and came from ! A lab leak is almost a certainty at this point !

  3. Many thanks Senator we appreciate your ever so timely updates on so many issues we face on the community. keep up the excellent work!
    Valarie Seabrook

  4. Have you not heard that vaccinated people are in fact spreading Covid…this is per the CDC. Recent Cap Cod news as well!. I know of several people who are suffering from the effects of the vaccine. They are being cruelly censored, ignored and tossed aside because it does not fit the narrative of the vaccine fanatics. Also, did you know the CDC removed the EUA regarding the PCR test…admitting they cannot differentiate between Covid and influenza virus. They have never isolated the Covid virus! What has the passed year of scare tactics about cases been about? How did they determine the “Cases”. You should really read the details on that…very interesting. We should ask more questions of our health overlords and not be so reflexively and mindlessly obedient.

    1. Mark, I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I strongly support vaccination. The vaccines are not perfect, but they have made a huge difference in infection rates and consequences of infection.

      When you say “They have never isolated the Covid virus!” I can’t imagine where you are getting that disinformation. The virus was isolated long ago.

      1. May be a difference in clinical diagnosis vs how they developed the assays for the PCR test…below is from the FDA announcement 7/21/20.

        Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV were available for CDC use at the time the test was developed and this study conducted, assays designed for detection of the 2019-nCoV RNA were tested with characterized stocks of in vitro transcribed full length RNA (N gene; GenBank accession: MN908947.2) of known titer (RNA copies/µL) spiked into a diluent consisting of a suspension of human A549 cells and viral transport medium (VTM) to mimic clinical specimen.
        https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

        1. hi, this just says that because the stocks of virus they had at the time were of unknown quality (it’s not easy to know how many infectious viral particles there are in a preparation) they instead used man-made versions of the RNA for one of the genes of SARS-CoV2. They can control the amount of this RNA that they use, which allows them to know how sensitive the test is that they use to detect it. The N gene is short for nucleocapsid gene. Many viruses have nucleocapsid genes (all of which are different from each other). I hope that helps.

    2. It’s true that vaccinated people appear to have spread the disease in the P’town cluster, but it’s absolutely not true that we can’t differentiate between SARS-CoV2 and influenza. The COVID virus (SARS-CoV2) absolutely postively has been isolated.

    3. One day of being achy and tired, which is what I experienced after each of my two doses of Pfizer, seems an excellent trade-off given the benefits of being fully vaccinated. The chance that I’ll be infected are now much much lower and if I do become infected the chances of severe illness are greatly diminished.

      People who are vaccinated CAN spread COVID, but only if they do get infected afterwards (a breakthrough case). Merely being vaccinated cannot make you a carrier of the virus. This is because at no point in the immunization process is there any live virus in your body. To the contrary, being vaccinated makes you much safer to be around, since you are much less likely to become infected. When you are vaccinated you are also protecting your family and your community!

      Two people who I knew died from COVID. Another suffers from long haul effects. Nobody who I know has had any side effects from being vaccinated that are much different from what I experienced. Please discuss your concerns with your doctor so you can be sure that you are making a decision that keeps you and your family as safe as possible.

  5. Will you be holding a meeting soon with your constituents about this nonsensical DESE “guidance”? I appreciate that you will personally follow the CDC advisory, but how will you advocate for students, parents, and teachers re: the feasibility of schooling with the lax DESE recommendations?

      1. More on this: Locally, the Belmont Board of Health has just issued an mask mandate for indoor public spaces. The statewide conversation is moving in the right direction too. Our Senate President just issued a statement calling on the Governor to issue a statewide mask mandate.
        I may not schedule a discussion meeting just now — it seems that things are moving in the right direction.

  6. The most surprising and concerning suggestion in the recent reports about Delta is the claim that vaccinated people have equally high viral titres as unvaccinated people. This would be a huge surprise given that the disease is considerably milder in vaccinated people and that this is holding up for Delta. Science Twitter claims that this idea is based on a questionable study from India, where the vaccines used are not the ones approved in the US (to our shame). If true, this would make me a little less panicked about the rise of Delta.

    I agree with you that the new information about Delta justifies a return to mask-wearing in public settings in any case, but if it’s really true that Delta reaches extremely high live virus titres in vaccinated people then we have to re-think our containment strategies entirely. Masks are the best intervention we have (~200x reduction in risk if used correctly) – meeting outdoors or being 6′ apart may not help nearly as much with 1,000x higher titres.

    1. Dr. Robert Malone…one of the key inventors of mrna technology has been sounding the alarm on this. He has been heavily censored, but well worth listening to him. The man has spent his life developing vaccines so he’s not an “anti-vaxxer”.

      1. Sounding the alarm on what? The vaccines are excellent at protecting the people who take them. But the virus has evolved and now we can’t make all of the same assumptions that we did 6 months ago.

        1. Seems to me like he was making a much more subtle point than what OP implies or what Tucker Carlson wants him to be saying. Ignoring everything Carlson says in the link (far below, sorry), I’m understanding him to be saying that the general public should be given more info and treated as adults. If people decide they don’t like the risks, what are we to do? Seems dumb not to get vaccinated, but I can’t tell people how they should evaluate risk.

          This discussion reminds me of an article about epidemiology early on in the crisis. If I remember it correctly it said that part of being an epidemiologist is to help policymakers draft messages and guidelines that are simple enough for those of us lacking biology or epidemiology knowledge to be able to process. I found it not very satisfying. It may not be realistic, but I feel like we should all be brought along to the level of thinking that you might have (in the few necessary points, obviously we’re not all going back to school to become biologists), having some background, plainly, with jargon removed, sort of how courtrooms use expert witnesses to inform a judge. It seems to me a slippery path from “simple, understandable message” to “message that gives desired epidemiological results when told to public, whether accurate picture or not.” This government thing is supposed to work by the mass’s opinions integrating knowledge somehow to get to a reasonably good place. With elected politicians having experience with PR firms and how money put into advertising translates into votes in non-hypothetical ways, well maybe it wouldn’t be uncomfortable ground for some of them to lead us a ways away from where we would ideally be in terms of propaganda/manipulation instead of sharing of evidence and reasoned argument. I’m not saying we’re necessarily very far gone right now, but, well, also Nature News is much more trustworthy to me than public messages from our leaders (our exceptional state senator notwithstanding).

          Since I’ve already blathered at length I’ll add one more point. Putting google or facebook in the role of gatekeeper over misleading info is really troublesome. Take this Dr. Malone guy, why is he having to be on Tucker Carlson, permitting himself to be used as a tool while trying to say these possibly not completely crazy things (not that we couldn’t disagree with him). He has something to people say but he’s stuck with whacko platforms cause everyone else feels a contrarian opinion is too hot to handle.

          https://news.yahoo.com/single-most-qualified-mrna-expert-173600060.html

        1. You’re an unhinged authoritarian liar. He never claimed to have invented the vaccines and has explained this repeatedly. I don’t know when a portion of the Democratic Party decided to run off and become shrieking neo-Maoist nutjobs, but the rest of us remember this is not actually a totalitarian state and it is not up to morons like you to decide whether a scientist gets a platform to argue his positions or not, nor does your finger-wagging smugnorance give you the authority to make others’ healthcare decisions for them.

          Malone has done enlightening explanations of some of the data Pfizer had hidden but was uncovered through a FOIA request. It is concerning to say the least.

            1. You need new material. You’re talking to someone who’s had every vax that applies to me. BUt yOu saId fREdumB lOl?

              Grow the fuck up.

    2. Public health authorities in the US have minimal credibility left for good reason. I see no deviation from their proven record of lying to the public to force behavior to conform to their own ideas.

      The latest guidance came without any science attached. That appeared an entire day later, which is not the way public health announcements are made. It was also couched in a transparently fake leak to establishment stenographer the Washington Post, apparently to add to the drama. Now officials are making astonishing claims of transmissibility while providing scant evidence to examine. It could be true. It’s hard to tell. They keep mixing up the data on relative vaccine effectiveness (which they constantly present as absolute effectiveness), posting earlier Israeli studies that have been superseded by later data and comparing results between different vaccines willy nilly.

      I also have yet to see a single report acknowledging no one goes to Provincetown to social distance. We’re all going to just pretend people caught covid sailing.

      As a rational argument for a position, it’s a mess. But clearly they’re setting up the narrative to support a new wave of lockdowns. They don’t seem to realize that’s not an option that’s available to them anymore. They aren’t dictators or daddies, despite their obvious self-delusions around that issue.

      So what have their pronouncements done for us? All they’ve accomplished is to obfuscate the already very confusing impact of delta and make it harder for people to make their own choices. (Which we are going to do, like it or not.)

        1. The CDC and FDA our fully captured agencies. Former heads just a few months ago now sit on the boards of Pfizer and Moderna. NIH has rights to the patents to vaccines and testing. Fauci’s obvious criminal behavior around supporting the research and creation of said viruses. We need to accept where we are…fully controlled by dangerous people ushering in a dystopian agenda. We must challenge all our elected leadership and our un-elected Scientific dictatorship.

          1. It leaves us without the information we need to give informed consent. I still think an obese 70-year-old diabetic can find the jab makes sense. Others might not. But the powers that be have decided that max vaccinations with the currently available vaccines is the one and only aim of public policy and authoritarian measures will be used as needed to enforce compliance. Concerns and competing treatments are to be suppressed. Only the most expensive and profitable treatments are to be investigated. We have no hope of reaching the entire global population with that strategy. Worse, the vaccines we have do not confer sterilizing immunity, which creates a serious risk of forcing ever more aggressive adaptations. Our current leadership does not have a plan that even pretends to be able to force extinction of the virus and that is a tragedy. Now we’re headed for a never ending parade of variance and authoritarian reactions to them.

  7. It may take decades to arrive at a virus-host equilibrium. The world is a big place, and to have a world-wide Rnaught value below unity for long enough to extinguish the virus, well, I don’t know. The problem is, the world is also smaller place and we have to deal. Could China and the WHO have ringed the incipient pandemic, or was the writing already on the wall once the novel pneumonia was observed? Was it the CCP’s Chernobyl moment times a million? I imagine a Pascalesque decision matrix moment at the WHO, Security Council, &c. when it was decided/realized that this wasn’t to be an extinction-level , or bottleneck event and decided that less than maximum effort was appropriate? I don’t know the limit of how many variants we will see, or if there will be one of high consequence. Delta is only a variant of concern can you imagine? I do wonder if we feathered the breaks to soon in MA viz lifting restrictions. One can weigh the lives saved and lost. I think a preponderance of lives were saved. I think full transparency in all facets of our response is owed to the dead and grieving, and to our children. Was our response- is our response- less than just, given economic fears, politics and biases? That is to say did we make excuses due to economics or other Or, is it as good of a response as can be expected? I really don’t think I’m hearing enough true debate and examination in the media and public forums.
    This is a global pandemic. Last time I checked life is precious and we are supposed to love thy neighbor.
    This political and personal thing about masks is fascinating. The cultural advantage conferred by obstinacy over erudition. It’s real. But we can, and must, have stiff necks Andfull and thinking minds. I have not heard a compelling scientific for natural immunity that warrants complicity in spreading a deadly virus. Probably the anti vax, anti mask attitude is about alienation and a disconnectedness from power and community. No doubt we’re free to choose. Jules st because we can doesn’t mean we should. I took the vax asap and Loved not wearing a mask when I didn’t need to. Now, with Delta’s prevalence I am essentially less than fully vaccinated and wear a mask where warranted. Still, a less than perfect vaccine is going to go a lot farther in saving my life and protecting my family and friends than no vaccine. I probably had Covid so the vaccine was like a booster.

    1. A pound of Covid is worse than an ounce of side-effect. And what’s up with football players being opposed to the vax but not concussions and almost universally trashing their onees? I don’t think the vaccine is a conspiracy to give humanity protection from the alien vessel that parted from Oumuamua. That’s crazy talk.

    2. In the alternative, you could listen to people who actually object to the vaccinations instead of reading what the Washington Post tells you they are saying.

      Nah.

  8. Thank you for posting, Senator!
    Think about Provincetown — open for well off tourists a few weeks ago and now a superspreader event linked to more than 1000 known cases with more than half of the cases in the fully vaccinated. Fast forward to Greater Boston with a large influx of students expected within 30 days. How many new cases will we have in October? All of the ‘please wear a mask’ signs are down, supermarkets and other essential businesses have stopped sanitizing, schools may or may not require vacination, etc. I would like to hear some leadership. We have 30 days…

  9. Thank you for not only disseminating this new info for our state, but for then offering your own ideas on how to respond to the evolving virus.
    I do believe Baker should have said something similar regarding likely updates to guidelines as new data emerge.

  10. Will, thank you for your thoughts. I have gone back to masking in public and hope that the Governor will soon issue mask mandates for ALL indoor, public spaces. Fortunately, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the number of masked people in stores around here (Middlesex county). This is not a time for indecision and meaningless, confusing language like “strongly recommended.”

  11. There are many contagions, diseases and sources of human suffering. We can’t and don’t stop the world for each one. We are a society stretched to the breaking point. Another mandate or lockdown will only ignore it’s very real social and economic impacts. If you are afraid of getting sick, stay home or wear a mask.

    1. This is common sense. This mask wearing, 6 ft separation, forced injections, forced business closings, travel restrictions are destroying civilization. People not having weddings, funerals, holiday get-to-together, etc. It is breaking the bonds of families and our connectivity in general. This has been planned for a long time. They are bringing us into a new world as our friend Klaus Shwab from the World Economic Forum creepily states in his PR releases.

  12. Thank you for posting the comparison between the CDC and state advisory statements.

    Having jumped through frustrating hoops to obtain vaccinations for myself and family members, I still vote for an abundance of caution.

    I continue to wear a mask in public places, as does my unvaccinated son. He is returning to school for the first time in 18 months, a school chosen, in part, for its exemplary COVID precautionary measures.

    My motivation to wear a mask and only dine outdoors is intensified by breakthrough Delta infection data from Barnstable County, the too high ranking of Massachusetts in new infections, and more children hospitalized with RSV, COVID, and a combination of the two.

    “Seatbelts reduce risk, but we still need to drive carefully.” – Dr. Scott Dryden-Peterson, infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

    1. I believe it’s time the people who took the experimental shot mask up as it’s clear they are breeding more virulent strains and spreading to others. Vaccinologists worst fear of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) seems to be manifesting. I would like to see all the signs reversed to say “People who are vaccinated must mask up and those who are unvaxxed can breath air freely”.

      1. I don’t actually see signs of ADE *yet* and neither do most of the CDC’s critics. The delta variant may well be adapting to the vaccines though.

  13. Dear Steve,
    I have to thank you for, I hope, helping me to understand how and why vaccine-reluctants come to their beliefs. I come to the issue as a biologist/geneticist and am frustrated that what I know and understand is foreign to others, and in fact exasperated, not to say deeply angry, by the consequences of ignoring the discoveries made by very many working prodigiously hard to understand enough to keep covid from becoming a world-wide tragedy that could even dwarf the consequences of nuclear war.

    So here are a few of the numbers that you might work through to tell you why many peoples’ survival, including those now vaccinated, depends upon reducing the numbers of infections worldwide.

    Covid 19 consists of nearly 30,000 nucleotide subunits that program its infectivity, replication rates and numbers and even its mutation rates.
    Its mutation rate is estimated to be a change in one of its 30,000 nucleotides in every 10 replicated viruses. (or 1 in every 300,000 newly incorporated nucleotides of all new viruses)

    Release of newly replicated viruses appears to take from 12 to 36 hours, and the replication rate appears to be about 2.9 per infecting virus through a period of 3.5 days when infectivity begins.

    With those numbers you can calculate the numbers of new variants occurring, in fact, in every single infection resulting from 10, 100 or 1000 , etc. infecting viruses.

    So once infected, every single one of us is producing new mutations, and some one of those, perhaps in combination with other new mutations could generate more contagious and/or more infective viruses, like the DELTA variant.

    Surely, these things are of real concern to all of us –

    This real information is also available in many professional journals on the web.
    See for example:
    “SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers”
    Yinon M Bar-On,1* Avi Flamholz,2* Rob Phillips,3,4* and Ron Milo1*

    1. I do read journal articles. I agree it would be very important to stop transmission. I presume you have read the warnings about using imperfect vaccines in the face of an ongoing pandemic which may increase the virulence of the pathogen? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11742400/ And you are aware the upper respiratory viral load is the same in both vaccinated and unvaccinated delta carriers per the CDC itself? And that you have seen the massive drop off in vaccine protection against infection and symptomatic illness in the latest Israeli data? And you are still certain your proposed course of action isn’t forcing increased virulence?

    2. Thanks. That’s helpful. Are there error hot spots in the sequence? Are all the flavors of variants out there in the field of competition? I imagine ribosomes and associated proteins are very highly conserved? So, mutation is a function of the virus. Will the virus inexorably take its pound of flesh in the short run or long run no matter what we do until the susceptible are out of the equation? We can’t manage a lot of deaths in a short time period, but can better if we pay out the deaths over time. The danger of the latter is – well either risks the emergence of a pathogen of high consequence. So, why aren’t we having a real eradication effort?

      1. Fred, I think you are a bot. Real people, you’d do well to stop reading his posts. They are gobbledygook, meant to distract, alarm and generally contaminate Will’s attempts at clear and calm communication with us, his constituents and neighbors. Will, we’re out here and appreciate what you’re doing.

        1. I do appreciate the kind words, Catherine.

          But I should also say that Fred is a real person and he does reside in my state senate district.

          My site is open to all in my state senate district and I never censor civilly-expressed divergent views from constituents.

          1. Thank you Senator for confirming that I am a constituent and not a bot. I am pro-vaccine, pro-science, pro-evidence, pro-transparency and pro-Socratic discussion. I do wonder if we as a Commonwealth got the response to Covid-19 right- we probably did as there’s no hew and cry, but I’m hoping for teal-time evidence-based investigation to seek sources of bias and conflict of interest in the response. Yes, there are many unknowns, complexities and negative consequences to managing a pandemic, but that should not be a bar to self-examination. The question is, is that a responsible debate to have in the open?
            Conspiracy theories are the refuge of the alienated and lost. And I hope someday to read a succinct anti-vax/mask/pro-natural immunity comment/postulation rooted in science logic. I hope we can transcend the gobbledegook and babel on many levels.

        2. Hi Catherine, Will’s posts are spot-on, to borrow the Britishism. They are always deeply thoughtful, intelligent and exceedingly useful. If my thoughts and questions are alarming I say we must never fear. And I will ponder. Thank you.

          1. I will ponder upon whether my questions are too much for this forum. This is a unique topic unlike budgets, bike lanes and potholes &c.

  14. Thank you, Will. This is a helpful gloss.

    I’m sadly and reluctantly masking back up (and, as a teacher, hoping my vaccine protection doesn’t wear off just when school starts again!)

  15. While it is true that the vaccine have alien DNA and a tracking device which the CIA can listen to your every word wearing Masks despite being vaccinated can only help reduce the spread of this curse. Companies should be encouraged to allow workers to work from home if possible.

    Oh how did I find out about the Alien DNA – Read it on Facebook – so it has to be true , seriously folks it doesn’t hurt to wear a mask and if your not going to wear it correctly – don’t wear it , you just look silly with it under your chin

  16. China did a good job with this one .. new strains more virulent not less .. they need to be held accountable and more investigation into the origins of this virus!

    1. Sadly we are instead dedicating several billions more to gain of function research. Fauci will still be there to the bitter end in hologram form telling the last human alive to wear a mask.

  17. I will always rely on my old faithful Germ Avoidance. Unfortunately the vaccine gave people a false sense of health security. A variant is nothing new. The traditional flu shot we have taken for many years does not cover all strains.
    My advice to all, do not depend on government, do your due diligence your survival in general will depend on it.

  18. Thank you, Will. I will continue to wear my mask in public places. However, it’s ludicrous to suggest that kindergarten children wear masks when they return to school. No wonder many Belmont parents are so fed up. Please people use good common sense and CDC leaders stop with the flip-flopping!

  19. Here is an interview this morning with Dr. Robert Malone who makes his case and gives an account of where we are, where we’ve gone wrong and recommendations that would actually follow the science. I believe him. He says that is opposite antivaccine (no v-ax to grind). He is very credible to me though you can decide for yourself. I hope this provides illumination, not heat. The link is as follow: https://thenationalpulse.com/breaking/bannons-war-room-1137-and-1138/

    1. Absolutely unforgivable what some are doing to children with these dehumanizing muzzles. We are doing incredible damage to their psychological development not to mention the physical harm of huffing their own C02 for hours a day and breathing in all forms of bacteria that quickly form on masks that are repeatedly touched, shoved in pockets, and put back on, etc. The masks are a reminder that you need to be fearful.

  20. Research to Mitigate a Shortage of Respiratory Protecting Devices During Public Health Emergencies, HHSF223201400158C, dated September 30, 2019 was a preview of what was to come.

    With this study pending, and the results probably not unexpected, we defunded pandemic preparedness.

    1. I think Middlesex changed from Moderate to Substantial since July 30th. What do we know about the trajectory of the Delta variant? If only we can all wear masks.

  21. Hello will. I don’t that this questions is a good fit for this topic, but it seems like a place to ask the question. I’m writing some notes hoping to eventually influence a family member who is refusing vaccination and buying products made by a leading anti-vax funding.

    Suppose party A pays for the public posting the convinces part B to not get vaccinated. Paty B contracts COVID-19 and dies. Is party A guilty of involuntary manslaughter as defined in criminal law. ?

    Hoping there is a criminal law expert out there who can answer this.

  22. Do you happen to know how our local schools are doing on ventilation (or air filtration)? That seems to be one of the most important factors in preventing respiratory diseases including COVID. Is there any effort to address this issue systematically at the state level?

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