Breaking News From The CDC Today. If you are fully vaccinated you can toss the masks and the social distancing. We're fully open for business now.

We've spent well over a year here being masked 
and following all the safety guidelines. 
Guess what? It worked. 

I'm still not sure how it's all going to work but the CDC announced today that fully vaccinated people in the USA will no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, and no longer need to diligently practice social distancing. This is a tremendous change after a year of fogged up glasses, curbside deliveries and extra hot Summer walks with a mask firmly covering my mouth and nose. 

I'm hoping it will also be a tremendous incentive for the unvaccinated to get in and get their FREE and CONVENIENT, no appointment necessary, vaccines so we can really attain herd immunity and move through life more freely. The virus is still out there and running free so unvaccinated, asymptomatic carriers can still infect other unvaccinated people. And those unvaccinated people who become infected can still suffer horribly and even die tragic, and now preventable deaths. 

While I am certain that a sub-group of people will lie and cheat and pretend to be vaccinated to unfairly enjoy society's ground breaking achievement I'm equally certain that they will, statistically, only hurt, infect, damage, and kill others who are also not choosing to get vaccinated. I wish it wasn't the case but I guess everyone gets to choose between good and evil in their own self. Vaccine Karma?

What this means for us, personally,  is more travel, more restaurant dinners, and more face-to-face work with clients. 

This will positively affect lots and lots of professional photographers who have been hanging on, financially, by thin threads. Now people will be able to have traditional weddings, go to conferences and trade shows, and generally bring back event photography for a wide range of photographers. This will smooth a transition back to real work.

I hope that everyone who reads this is vaccinated or intends to get vaccinated as soon as possible and that you'll (metaphorically) twist a few arms of your vaccine hesitant friends and get them to understand the benefit to everyone. The more people who get the vaccines the less chance we have of going into another lockdown in the near future because unvaccinated people have become incubators for new and more virulent variants of the virus. Variants that are not fought off nearly as well by the existing vaccines. 

If we all work together we'll be back at our chosen trades/crafts/arts/professions and having fun in no time. 
Can't imagine how much fun we could have in the year(s) ahead! A big sigh of relief and a thumbs-up for all the people who are doing their part by lining up to get a small shot and become wonderfully immune. 




Augie said...

Fully vaccinated. Enjoy seeing smiling faces again! :-)))

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

It's great to be smart enough to get vaccinated. And to see all those smiling, happy faces again.

Eric Rose said...

Those that don't get vaccinated are just self qualifying for this years Darwin Awards.


Richard Parkin said...

Not all the unvaccinated are vaccine hesitant, I read today that around 30 million Americans want vaccines can’t get or take time off work etc etc to arrange it.

Michael Matthews said...

If the vaccine resistant types could be counted on to kill off only one another the Darwinian effect might, however heartlessly, make our chunk of the world better off. But it won’t work that way. The surprisingly large portion of the US population which insists it will not be vaccinated is large enough to provide a convenient breeding ground for new mutations which might skip right past the immunity bestowed by current vaccines. And the much larger, grossly underfunded part of the planet which can’t even get vaccines provides a hugely bigger, richer cauldron for the brewing of breakthrough mutations. We have a long way to go.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Richard, That may have been a consequence of having to find and schedule hard to get appointments previously. Now, almost everywhere in the US drug stores and larger groceries stores with pharmacies are now taking walk-ins during most operating hours. The local H.E.B. grocery here starts jabbing at 7 and doesn't wrap up until after 9. We'll see the scheduling work better and better. Also, in some small towns with excess supply of vaccine, healthcare workers are going door to door and offering vaccines. Marfa, Texas, which is rural and remote, and not affluent at all, was able to hit a 95 % compliance for all for whom the vaccines are currently approved. Many employers are also allowing paid time off for vaccines. And soon, I'm sure, just like flu shots, companies will soon contract for services to come on site and vaccinate workers. It would be in the company's best interest. These kinds of impediments will recede and we'll only have the Red Hat/No Brain to deal with after that.

But how did you like my Sigma 24-70mm review?

Anonymous said...

If we have another lockdown all the blame will go to the Trump supporters who've made not getting a vaccine some sort of insane political loyalty test. And to a demonic wannabe dictator who rushed to get fully vaccinated as soon as he could. Their logic is impeccably bad. Almost as bad as their lack of morality in burdening the rest of society with the possibility of new virus variants. No vaccine? Cancel their health insurance and lock the hospital doors. They've made their choices.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hey everyone. Let's ratchet down the political rhetoric. For those who believe, let Darwin do his work. No need to hash it out here. (Note to myself as well).

Unknown said...

I would still be prudent if I was you. Still wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces and cinemas for example.
The UK currently has lower infection rates per head than the US and the advice is still to continue to wear masks in indoor places where people are mixing.
The vaccine does not confer 100% immunity and though it mostly means if you do catch it you will suffer relatively mild symptoms there is some evidence that the Indian variants that have arrived in the US and elsewhere are causing issues for vaccinated people.
I realise that everything is a risk in life and this should now be a low risk for you, I would still err on the side of caution in certain situations.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

I agree. If for no other reason than the variants. I think most will still be using masks for shopping, etc. And you couldn't drag me to a movie theater or a bar even before the pandemic...I'll head back to live theater, certainly, but I'm sure we'll be wearing masks for months to come.

Unknown said...

I forgot to add the link from the BBC News... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-57084572
Also, please remember some people are unable to get the vaccination due to pre-existing medical conditions or medications.

Sean Staples said...

It will be interesting to see what retail establishments do. Their mask policies are usually according to CDC guidelines. Will Home Depot and the like continue to follow the CDC guidelines, or start creating their own guidelines?

The good news is apparently that one driver of today's decision was that the data is showing that even when a vaccinated person does get infected, there is next to no transmission from that person to others.

Don Karner said...

Some of us have had Covid 19 and have some "natural" immunity. My doctor is unsure if or when I should get the shot. My wife was so sick after the first shot (she also had the virus) that I think I will wait just a while longer. Then, maybe I will just get the second shot and skip the first one that makes us sick....... ;-) by the way, I believe in vaccinations. Just unsure how to do this one.

MikeR said...

The prudent move amongst all us vaccinated folks is to still wear a mask when congregating indoors with strangers ... for THEIR protection, in case they have yet to be vaccinated.

Steve Blader said...

My wife has rheumatoid arthritis, and has a bi-monthly injection of Remicade to fight the arthritis. She's had it since she was 19 (we're in our late 60s now, so she's approaching 50 years of that pain and joint damage.) Remicade has been a life-changing infusion therapy for her. But the downside of that drug is that currently it appears that being on Remicade reduces the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines (we had the pfizer shots) from over 90% to about 30%.
So we will continue to take precautions when out and about, and those folks who refuse to get a vaccine are a potential threat to her continued health.
But we still are very happy we both have been vaccinated, and today we went for a nice walk in the park by our apartment without wearing a mask.


karmagroovy said...

Now we can party like it's 2019... with other vacinnated partiers that is!

Richard Parkin said...

Kirk, thanks for your detailed reply, I hope you are right. On “Sigma 24-70mm review?”, I read it but the lens & camera do not hold much interest for me.

Jeff said...

The news today included the story that 8 fully vaccinated member of the NY Yankees have tested positive for COVID. As someone else mentioned, the vaccine is not 100% effective, especially against variants.

And despite all the very clever Darwin Award comments, the picture is not so clear for young people. Their covid risk is very low and there is no long term (as in many years) data showing that the vaccine is totally safe for them, will have no reproductive effects, etc. The main benefit of their getting vaccinated is probably to protect the older people who they come in contact with.

It's great that infection rates are dropping now and we can resume a lot of normal activities, but the virus and it's variants are not gone, and there is no way to predict what new variants might be coming. I would still be careful around other people, especially groups and people I didn't know..

Chuck Albertson said...

The CDC announcement might as well have said "those who are vaccinated, or claim to be (since nobody is checking)" can now ditch their masks. I'm going to continue to wear one indoors for the time being.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

I think it's wise to keep wearing a mask in crowded places, inside stores and shops, and to avoid bars and pubs as well. If I were to go back to a theatre for a performance this weekend I'd still wear a mask. And, after seeing the regular flu infection numbers drop dramatically last Fall I'll probably consider wearing as mask in those same venues this coming Fall.

I still think the unvaccinated have a moral and ethical responsibility to get vaccinated sooner rather than later to help diminish the spread of the virus.

That decision should not be manipulated by politics. It should be a matter of honesty and honor.

Chuck Albertson said...

I agree that the responsible thing is to get vaccinated. But now there's not as much incentive to do so. The Mariners were selling out their "vaccinated-only" seating at a far faster rate than their "status uncertain - social distanced" seating, but now they'll face a lot of pressure to open up general seating.

That said, you will see me in theaters (live and movie) when they re-open. "Nomadland" was shot in the West, and accordingly should be viewed on the Big Screen, as Fran McDormand said.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Chuck, the primary incentive should be: Not Dying. And not spreading something that might kill others.

I can't imagine having children who are too young to be vaccinated yet and me deciding not to get vaccinated. And every single day wondering if I caught something, am asymptomatic and am bringing it home for my children.

Yes, most children will recover but not everyone. And if it was my kid who became a suffering, "long hauler" I'd be heart broken. And consumed with guilt.

Because I was too selfish to stop by CVS and get a free shot. So sad.

Makes you wonder: Do other people love their children?

Jim Tardio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Tardio said...

I think the only way to get people vaccinated is to require proof of vaccination, especially for travel. This doesn't have to be political...although it will be.

Is it fair? I think so. There will be a higher percentage of vaccinated folks vs the unvaccinated. If they want to get on with living, let the onus fall on their shoulders.

I'm tired of these whiners and their bogus reasons for resisting anything helpful. The only valid reason to not get vaccinated is a medical reason verified by a doctor.

Craig Yuill said...

Unfortunately, I have heard that there are cases of vaccinated front-line health-care workers still getting Covid-19 even after being double vaccinated. The vaccines help lower the severity of the symptoms, and make those who are vaccinated less infectious. Mask wearing indoors and in crowded areas is still a good idea. Still - it is nice to see some signs that things will be more normal in the months to come.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

With respect Craig, the CDC's latest info was actually based on statistics provided about medical professionals and providers in Israel, the US and other location and indicated that the vaccines' ability to prevent asymptomatic or symptomatic infections. They were seeing a higher that 94% total rejection of infection. Here's the abstract from today from the CDC:


Real numbers and finding and not, "I have heard" or "people have said" Yes, it's still possible to get a few breakthrough infections but I would conjecture that it would require huge virus loads to hit a tipping point. Not the kind of situations normal, non-medical personal might find themselves in...

Anonymous said...

In Asia it has long been a tradition, that when you got a cough, cold or flu symptoms etc. you wore a mask outside your home in order NOT to infect others, as far as you can control matters. If everybody chooses to protect everybody else, then infection has a tough time. In the west, the “mask wars” were most often “all about me” and to hell with everybody else.

As Kirk wisely added, masks also work during flu season, and the typical yearly common cold season in northern regions, and having clean hands also helps controlling all sorts of other ailments. In my country, and Europe as a whole, deaths caused by the common flu seems to be around 1 in 100 or less compared to 2019. That’s really amazing!

Makes you wonder, why it took a serious, life threatening COVID pandemic, to kick some sense into an in some respects “dirty, smelly and unclean” western population ;-)

I agree, that the “Darwin effects” may help us to root out the biggest “oafs”, but I still have trouble understanding politicians, who “markets” views, that are guaranteed to maximize the “weeding” of their followers. Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, eh?