On May 13 of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hung American frontline workers out to dry. And we’re paying for it now.
The agency issued public health guidance that was unenforceable on the face of it: People who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could forgo face coverings in all settings.
With looming variants and breakthrough infections, more of us are going back to masking up full time. But no one, absolutely no one I have spoken to, is looking forward to another round of enforcing mask mandates on customers. We have only just caught our breath from the last time; we were looking forward to a return to normal just as much as everyone else. And even though it might feel like it after 18 months of this, we are still not trained as public health workers or law enforcement.
I’ve been asked what is the best way to support frontline workers in this mess. Obviously the problems are different for grocery workers and teachers, for nurses and elder-care workers. But one main thing people can do for all of us is quite simple: Get your vaccine.