Focusing on personal responsibility still isn’t a good way to manage public health

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Public health experts and communities around the country are still struggling to make sense of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new mask guidelines. Last week, the CDC said it no longer thinks people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 need to wear masks in most situations. But cases of COVID-19 are still high in many places, and less than 40 percent of people in the United States are fully vaccinated.

In efforts to clarify and explain the agency’s thinking, CDC director Rochelle Walensky focused on the risk COVID-19 poses to each individual person who decides to wear a mask or not wear a mask. People who are vaccinated can decide to skip a mask knowing that they’re safer, and people who aren’t vaccinated should…

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