Shorter quarantine guidelines are put into question

Jaylynn Visitacion

Staff Writer

     Can’t you wait for a day when you could go outside and be around people without worrying about a mask or getting sick? We’re slowly making our way towards that with different mandates and restrictions in order to keep everyone safe, however, the new quarantine guidelines that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have raised questions about how effective they really are.

     The new guidelines state that if one were to get Covid-19, they would need to quarantine for five days and be asymptomatic in order to go back. No testing is required, but they do need to wear a well fitted mask when around other people. Even if people were to be masked and keeping their distance, some don’t agree. 

     “In the beginning they said to quarantine for fourteen days because that’s how long it takes for the virus to go away entirely. Being in quarantine for a shorter amount of time isn’t the best idea because you’re going to leave the house and infect other people,” explains sophomore Ujjawal Prasad.

     Luckily, the guidelines are only a suggestion to what minimal precautions people should take. People will worry about themselves and will do what they think is best. Mrs. Prabahakaran, a math teacher at American, expresses, “I’m following the old guidelines the best I can. But I’m concerned because I think it’s better for everyone to follow all of the guidelines we’ve had previously in order to stay safe. I believe [the current ones] are more contagious and it would be better to avoid that.”

     Prasad has a similar view and furthers, “You’re supposed to act like everyone has Covid-19 in order to prevent getting sick, but if you end your quarantine sooner and you do have Covid-19, you’re actually making it riskier for the people around you. It’s not worth a couple days of convenience.”

     In opposition, the CDC allowed this guideline to pass in order to move towards opening up the U.S. a little more by allowing more people to go back to everyday life. Though it’s a worry to some, others don’t mind the new guidelines. Mr. Sharma, a biology teacher at American, conveys, “If you take the precautions of getting vaccinated and staying masked up, I don’t think that it’s going to matter whether you’re quarantined for fourteen days or five days. No one I know has gotten Covid-19 so I trust that the vaccines and masks work.”

     Prabhakaran reveals, “I don’t think going back sooner will help the rising cases, but if people are negative they can come back to work and get back to their schedules earlier, which is a benefit.” The guidelines are already in place and there’s no stopping it, but there’s no denying that there are some benefits that can come along with it. 

      There needs to be an understanding behind why the CDC chose to shorten the guidelines and Prasad ponders, “In the long term it’ll make things run faster by helping people assimilate to the reality of Covid. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon so it’s best to get used to it instead of letting things change and having to work around it.”

     There are different thoughts that surround why the CDC has shortened the guidelines besides going back to everyday life. “I know they’re probably setting new guidelines because of new data they’ve received, but often we hear how it’s a conspiracy and they want people out sooner for different reasons, but I don’t know the validity behind it. I’m assuming they made the decision based on data because that’s what the CDC does, what scientists do,” Sharma construes.

     Different news sites can leave different loopholes that make people start questioning the reality and real motivation behind what’s going on with the new set of guidelines. People like Prasad are left wondering, “I don’t think the safety of the students and teachers were taken into account when they set the shorter guidelines because they’re not as safe as they should be. I think they care more about what government funding is going into schools and what profit the schools are making when students are in school.”

     It’s not the first time officials have been questioned about their decisions to move forward with different topics but the way people handle it can be worrisome. Luckily, most people are looking for safer options and are doing the right things to stay safe like getting vaccinated and boostered and staying masked.

The new Covid-19 guidelines have been updated by the CDC, allowing more people to go back to their daily lives sooner.

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