CNN is attempting to cozy up Americans to the idea of masks sticking around for the long run, likening them in an article Wednesday to a best friend whom people “cherish and appreciate for a good, long time.” The piece addresses questions individuals who receive a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus will likely ask.
“The day has finally come. You’ve received the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine currently on the Western market — Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca,” the February 3 piece began. The outlet quickly threw cold water on any sense of hope of returning to a state of normalcy by making it clear that a return to pre-pandemic life is not in the imminent future.
“Sorry, there is no immunity passport yet, experts told CNN. There are still safety precautions you need to follow in order to keep you, your loved ones and everyone else safe and protected from the deadly coronavirus,” CNN reported, proceeding to a Q&A with answers from “the experts” on post-vaccine life.
When asked if the days of universal masking are over post-vaccine, CNN provided a blunt answer: “Let’s ‘face’ it: The answer is no.”
“Try to think of a face mask as your new best friend, one that you plan to cherish and appreciate for a good, long time,” the outlet pitched, providing five reasons masking should continue, most of which appear to center around the uncertainty of the effectiveness of the vaccines.
First, vaccines, CNN said, do not offer 100 percent protection at full immunization. Second, it is difficult to predict how a person’s body will respond to the vaccines in terms of an immune response, according to the outlet. CNN also warned of virus variants and cited experts who are “warning that antibodies from a prior case of Covid-19 won’t protect against being reinfected with a variant from South Africa.” The length of time immunity will last after the second dose of the vaccine is administered also remains uncertain.
“There is a possibility that booster doses may be needed in the months or years to come. That’s not uncommon — adults need tetanus and diphtheria boosters every 10 years,” the outlet said, also warning that someone could be a “silent spreader” and likening her to “Typhoid Mary.”
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen stressed that it remains unclear if the vaccination prevents an individual from spreading the virus to others, noting that it is possible that “fully immunized people may still be able to spread Covid-19 to others.”
Because of that, masks, according to CNN, are here to stay.
“So until more is known about how long the protection lasts — and against which variants — stay safe and protect others by wearing a mask,” CNN concluded.
Prior to taking office, President Biden previewed his plan for 100 days of masking, urging Americans to wear a mask wherever possible. Upon taking the Oval Office, he signed an executive order requiring they be worn on federal property, with limited exceptions. Notably, White House press secretary Jen Psaki routinely goes maskless as she speaks to reporters during the daily press briefings. Dr. Fauci, too, has gone without a mask while speaking at the podium and has promoted the concept of wearing two masks at once — something he practices — in recent days.
Biden’s coronavirus response team is reportedly considering sending millions of masks directly to American homes to further encourage mask-wearing.
Debate continues of the efficacy of surgical and homemade masks in preventing the spread of the virus. A DANMASK-19 study published last year found there was no statistical difference in infection rates among mask wearers and those who did not wear a mask in areas where other public health measures, such as social distancing, were in effect.