The latest variant of the Covid-19 virus has left experts and government officials unsure of how to proceed. With the world arguing about transmission, death rates and economic impact, it’s hard to tell which of these issues is truly driving the proposed mandates and new CDC recommendations.
The Biden Administration has pushed heavily for vaccine mandates. Their goal is to see the vast majority of Americans fully vaccinated, including their booster shot. They have attempted to put mandates into place but have been met with resistance.
Recently, the Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s efforts to implement a vaccine mandate. They proposed that anyone working for a large company must be vaccinated or masked and tested weekly. However, The Supreme Court ultimately decided this mandate went outside the scope of the Biden Administration’s authority.
Although there is a vaccine and booster shot available to the American public, many aren’t overly concerned with getting them. An article written by Dr. Amir Khan for aljazeera.com elaborates by saying, “The push for an uptake in boosters against the new variant has been met with less enthusiasm than in the past, with people suffering from vaccine fatigue and wondering whether there will be an end to the constant jabs.”
Employers are struggling to keep up with the frequently changing recommendations from the CDC. At the beginning of the pandemic, employees were forced to quarantine for 14 days in the event that they became sick with the virus. Even those who had contact with someone suspected of having the virus were strongly advised to quarantine. Eventually, that 14 days was reduced to 7 and now the recommended quarantine is down to 5 days. It’s quite a jump and many are concerned that 5 days simply isn’t long enough.
Despite recent vaccine mandates being rejected by The Supreme Court, individual businesses still have the ability to implement a vaccine mandate within their companies. The biggest issue with these mandates are the possibility of alienating workers. With economic turmoil on the horizon and a labor shortage, companies are finding the decision difficult to make.
The CDC has recently come under a lot of scrutiny over their updated Covid policies. These include reduced quarantine times, and suggested mask wearing after your quarantine period is through. Many argue that 5 days isn’t a long enough quarantine to effectively slow the spread of the virus. The CDC defended their new guidelines saying that Omicron is most contagious during the first few days. They also mentioned that long quarantine requirements are not sustainable. We need to figure out how to continue moving forward with Covid as part of our reality. Fortunately, the CDC has also stated that while Omicron is highly contagious, it’s far less deadly than previous variants.
It’s difficult to say if political, economic, or public safety goals are driving these policy changes. We can only hope governing officials and organizations will eventually find a clear path forward.