I am sure many of you are scrambling to cover the latest about the Delta variant and the leak of data that informed the CDC’s change in mask guidance this week.
The data – leaked to the New York Times and the Washington Post Thursday evening (July 29) – showed those vaccinated can still be contagious, and there are more vaccinated people becoming infected than expected: 35,000 a week of 162 million vaccinated.
It sounds scary, but the key thing to remember in your reporting is to put risks in context: “Vaccinated people can transmit Delta if infected, however the majority of transmission is still by UNVACCINATED – that is where the focus should be,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and an excellent health communicator, on Twitter Friday, July 30. Continue reading
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the U.S. should have a national mask mandate. President-elect Joe Biden is in talks with governors to try to implement one when he takes office in January.
Mask wearing, however, remains a political hot-button. President Trump and many other Republicans have called mandates an overreach of the government and encroachment on freedom. Biden will have lots of work to depoliticize mask-wearing, NPR reports.
So, what is the latest on the science of masks? Continue reading
Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In my corner of Southern California, sewing equipment stores say they’re out of stock on machines priced under $500 because face mask entrepreneurs have gobbled them all up.
As of this weekend, none of the usual suppliers, including Amazon, would ship the quarter-inch elastic, the kind that secures a mask around the ears, at least until late May. Fabric stores are filling online orders with more than a week or two delay in shipping.