1/ COVID Update: Summer 2021 and the Delta variant, mask wearing and “following the science.”
2/ That phrase “following the science.” What does it mean?

It means relying on the data
It means using the best judgment we have at the time
It is useful that help us assess risk, not provide guarantees

What doesn’t it mean?
3/ It doesn’t mean:

Providing us certainty when none exists
Saying there is zero risk
That there won’t be adjustments as more is learned
4/ It also doesn’t mean that the science alone needs to determine the choices we make. It should only inform the choices we make.
5/ Take the CDC’s guidance on mask wearing.

The science says if you are indoors and fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask. It means it’s very unlikely you will get COVID and even more unlikely that you would get sick from or spread COVID.
6/ It doesn’t mean there won’t ever be people who are vaccinated & get COVID. Nor does it mean there aren’t other reasons to wear a mask.
7/ you might wear a mask because it makes you feel more secure or to set an example for your kids or so others don’t have to wonder if you’re vaccinated. If you wear a mask, you’re not violating the science. The science provides guidance but allows for other factors.
8/ People do things for lots of good reasons.

Some people buy more insurance than they need just in case. Some wear a flag lapel pin to show patriotism.
9/ But if you are only following the scientific recommendations & you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t need to where a mask indoors. Your chance of getting COVID are very low.

But what about the WHO guidance? What about municipalities who still recommend masks?
10/ Yes, it is confusing to be told different things by different people. But the underlying science is unchanged.

The WHO guidance is for the globe, the CDC’s is for the US.

Municipalities or stores who suggest masks are adding their own considerations on top of the CDC’s.
11/ People want things to be black & white but that’s not how science always works.

The CDC should not be giving the impresssion of false certainty when there is none. If you are vaccinated, there are a number of acceptable approaches, not just one.
12/ Unvaccinated Americans face a different fate. 2021 COVID is twice as contagious as 2020 COVID. Right now, prevelence is low enough that there isn’t much COVID. But that will change as Delta finds welcoming communities.
13/ Unvaccinated people will be at elevated risk and should strongly consider getting vaccinated. Vaccinated people with typical immune reactions are largely (though not entirely) protected.
14/ The science will evolve. So will our comfort with how we each want to adjust our lives. And as things change, including durability of immunity and persistence of variance, we will need to be prepared to evolve our response. If we do, it won’t mean we’re wrong today.

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More from @ASlavitt

24 Jun
I want to talk about the Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill & what it means.

Some will say this bill represents “only 2/3” of the American Jobs Act proposals. Yes it reflect compromise.

What do we get in exchange for that compromise? So much.
Big picture:
1-This is the first infrastructure bill in years. It has always theoretically been of interest to both parties but no one could get it done.
2- This is a show of strength for a functional democracy when we badly need it.
3- There is more that can be done as needed.
In substance:
This is the most significant investment in green technology in history:
-A national electric of 500,000 vehicle charging stations including rural communities
-largest federal investment in public transit & passenger rail in history
Read 7 tweets
24 Jun
I want to reflect on a simple conversation I overheard. It reminds me that this last period of time has been so hard for so many. And we are still on edge because the crisis was so unexpected & the diminishment of risk feels so uncertain and so many people are still at risk.
This week @askdrfitz asked a man (Richard) at federal vaccination center what he planned to do now that he was vaccinated for an upcoming @inthebubblepod.
Richard has worked in food services his whole life. He thought before answering her & said maybe he would find a way to go part time.

When asked why he said “You know I have some deferred dreams.”
Read 8 tweets
29 Mar
Know a person who hasn’t made up their mind yet on getting vaccinated.

Why get vaccinated in 4 slides of data.
1. COVID-19 is far worse than the flu in the number of severe and critical cases. Even if you are part of the 1/3 without symptoms, you help the virus find people in the yellow & red bars.
2. The clinical outcomes from COVID-19 can effect you or those you inadvertently infect in so many different ways.
Read 5 tweets
6 Mar
COVID Update March 5, 2021: I haven’t done this in a long time for good reason.

I am tonight.
People have been texting me with their experiences getting vaccinated and with their permission I will share some of the messages & photos.

Because wow.
Read 12 tweets
12 Feb
COVID cases are down in the US, but still more than TWICE as high as the next highest country.

Our challenges are far from over. Neither good news nor bad news should be considered lasting.
Fighting a new rise in cases if one arrives will go dramatically different depending on our starting point.

Fighting new cases from a low point is like fighting a rabid dog. From a high point, it’s like fighting packs of rabid dogs. The same weapons don’t work.
Even with the promising news yesterday that we have vaccines on the way between now and the end of July for 300 million, challenges remain.

We can anticipate more loss of life but must minimize it by pulling together & doing simple things.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
COVID Update January 14: My last nightly thread for a while.

What I want to say is it’s not time for despair. It’s time to fix things and move our country forward. 1/
There was a point in time in this pandemic when we didn’t know up from down.

There was a time when people in charge were describing up as down. 2/
We’ve seen the worst of the worst. We’ve been through hell and we’re not done. We’ve lost things that can’t be regained. We alternate between fear, anger, loss of hope, and occasional real glimpses of life.

But we are surviving and we are remembering. 3/
Read 19 tweets

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