What Parents Need to Know About the New Mask Guidance – Slate

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that people vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors. Plenty has been written about whether this decision was well communicated, whether it was too hasty, and whether it could possibly have the intended effect of swaying anyone toward vaccines. But if you’re a parent like me, already exhausted from a year of trying to take care of a small person during a global crisis, you likely have one overarching question: What am I supposed to do now?

“It seems like kids are just getting overlooked in this,” says Tara Smith, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Kent State University in Ohio and parent of a 7-year-old. To navigate this new morass of risk calculations, I spoke to Smith and Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor at the University of California, San Francisco. They had somewhat different outlooks—illustrating just how much work is being thrust on parents right now to make constant judgment calls.

How much should we really worry about the coronavirus variants? – Slate

Photo: Jacek Pobłocki on Unsplash

New coronavirus variants are spreading: the so-called South Africa, U.K., and Brazil variants, as well as newer variants like the ones that have popped up in New York City and California. You might have some questions about what this all means for vaccines, masks (and lack thereof), and our general future. I spoke to four experts, and here’s what they say we know—and what we’re still waiting to find out.