In May, the CDC released updated guidelines stating fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks indoors and outdoors. While it's amazing news that we'll be seeing a lot more of people's faces for the first time in over a year, parents—especially those with children who aren't eligible for the vaccine yet—have some anxiety about it. (Meanwhile, certain states continue to have their own mask mandates and guidelines).
Why? Well, because society is basically going to be operating on an honors system of sorts. We have to hope that those who aren't vaccinated will still wear masks in public, especially indoors or in crowded spaces.
This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released conflicting advice regarding guidelines that the CDC currently has in place. The AAP stated that all children who are not vaccinated should wear masks in school during the upcoming school year.
While that sounds good in theory, it's a valid source of concern for people who are still vulnerable to COVID-19, like children under the age of 12 who likely won't be eligible for the vaccine for several months.
When the new mask guidelines were announced, many parents shared their thoughts on Twitter. Many are sharing additional thoughts after the AAP's recommendations were released this week.
The general consensus seems to be: "Uh, hey, CDC, what about our kids?"
Yes. PLEASE. As the parent of an under-12 unvaxxed kid, and also a thinking person who believes in community. https://t.co/Tn2PVL5mrk— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) 1626726828.0
Schools for children too young to be vaccinated need to require masks for everyone (vaccinated and unvaccinated) in… https://t.co/JoJXX26pMv— Dara Kass, MD (@darakass) 1626707019.0
As a parent, I will commit to sending my kids under 12 to school with masks on if it means that schools will not cl… https://t.co/riwneMrXOq— Amelia Libertucci #everychildmatters (@amelialibertuc1) 1626736106.0
My kids will happily wear their masks if it means learning in person while protecting their teachers, family and co… https://t.co/BxA30IGfn4— Melanie D'Arrigo for NY3 (@DarrigoMelanie) 1626744692.0
The groan parents of children under 12 just let out at these new CDC guidelines. It's going to be impossible to kno… https://t.co/tagrkDCwsq— sarah maclean (@sarahmaclean) 1620942784.0
The official guidance and support for parents at every stage of this pandemic: “hahahaha figure it out”— Ashley Austrew (@ashleyaustrew) 1620938774.0
Hello, yes, I am now very confused about what I can safely do with my small children— Julia Fine (@finejuli) 1620945179.0
Many parents were looking forward to this summer—as vaccine rates increase and many events remaining outdoors, things were looking way better than the summer of 2020. And while there are still many things to be happy about, not knowing if our kids are going to be surrounded by people who aren't vaccinated and also aren't wearing masks for protection is more of a source of concern. Especially as we near the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.
ok CDC, we get it, you don't have kids— Julia Fine (@finejuli) 1619568927.0
As the parent of 3 kids who will not be eligible to be vaccinated until the fall, at the earliest, I am extremely d… https://t.co/3GXzfbCgBa— Mark J. Cutrona (@mjcutrona) 1621211179.0
As parent of 2 young kids who can't get vaccinated, I will continue to mask indoors and when we can't distance to m… https://t.co/ZqIiH75Nyb— Beth Rabbitt (she/her, Dr.) (@BethRabbitt) 1621024256.0
A lot of vaccinated parents say they're still planning on wearing masks along with their kids as a sign of solidarity. Even young kids understand they're still at risk, even if their vaccinated parents aren't—my own five-year-old cried the day my husband and I received our first dose of the vaccine because she was so sad she couldn't get one, too.
I’m not a ‘my kids come first’ type parent, but w indoor mask mandates gone, children cannot safely enter any indoo… https://t.co/RfBjQV0lCE— Natalie (@writenatalie) 1620942454.0
I just... quite literally, the idea that vaccinated parents of unvaccinated kids are going to go maskless while the… https://t.co/WygU1Q2cWg— Hannah Bowman (@hannahnpbowman) 1620961997.0
If you're a parent of a child under the age of 12, we see you. Stay tuned for news on the FDA's stance on emergency use authorization for the vaccine on children of all ages.
This piece was originally published on May 18, 2021. It has since been updated.