The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has alarmed many health experts by reducing the COVID-19 isolation period to only 5 days. Previously, the agency had recommended 10 days of isolation for those who had tested positive for coronavirus. However, on December 27, the regulator issued a statement that people, who are asymptomatic or if their symptoms were resolving without fever for 24 hours, can isolate for 5 days. It also added that they must wear a mask to “minimize the risk of infecting anyone they encounter”. Moreover, the new CDC quarantine guidelines only apply to those who are asymptomatic for 5 days. If one has tested positive for coronavirus and is clearly displaying symptoms, then the agency still advises isolating for 10 days. The guidelines further include wearing masks for another 5 days after leaving isolation to avoid infecting others. But it left out the part where one has to test negative before leaving isolation in 5 days.
Amidst a record-high surge in cases and several new variants, such relaxations have surprised many. The guidelines received criticism for being largely the same for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. They sparked not only debate and confusion but also a plethora of memes on the internet. The social media users have been joking about what CDC would recommend next.
New CDC Quarantine Guidelines Are Either Incomplete or Reckless
It is not only common citizens, but many medical professionals have also joined in to make fun of the agency’s decision. They said it was “reckless” to do something like that when Omicron variant and a double infection Flurona were around. Some have also welcomed the revision to CDC quarantine guidelines. US President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor on the pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci, defended the guidelines by saying that it was a good choice as it will help “run the society smoothly” and minimize disruption to businesses.
Critics have argued that if someone stayed affected for more than 5 days and left quarantine without testing negative, how would these leaders feel in running a society of sick people. It just makes sense to stay in quarantine as long as there is risk and only leave after testing negative.
Others have slammed the guidelines as favourable to businesses while treating employees like expendables. The shortened isolation period can be dangerous for workers and profitable for businesses gambling on people’s lives. CDC is basically encouraging asymptomatic workers to return to work after 5-day isolation and be responsible for the risk of spreading the virus in the entire workplace.
Such concerns have led many to make hilarious memes to mock CDC’s decision.
The Birth of Viral CDC Says Memes
One of the top health organizations in the world ended up becoming the first-ever meme of 2022. Users start the meme by “CDC Says” which is a nod to how the agency may have believed that it is the ultimate medical expert in the world. On the contrary, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has explicitly refused to accept new CDC quarantine guidelines and reportedly follows the same old rules. It is probably the case with many common citizens too, who have been treating the CDC’s suggestion like a piece of bad advice for preventing a mishap.
Is the Agency going to Change its Recommendations?
In the end, the health organization maintained that getting vaccinated and boosted were the only way to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. However, after CDC quarantine guidelines received severe backlash, it might be altering some crucial details that it was missing before.
Dr Anthony Fauci said that in light of pushback on revised guidelines, the CDC recommended negative tests before leaving isolation. However, it did not stop folks from making fun that CDC might not be eligible for the faith that most humans put in it.