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April 14, 2021 2 min read

Most of America is headed in the wrong direction. New Covid-19 cases are rising in 28 states and we’ve already recorded more than 200,000 deaths. The numbers have gotten worse and the future’s looking bleak. And in the midst of all this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pulled a little stunt of their own — they retracted a very key finding on this virus’s transmission.

Just a few days back, the following statement was published on the CDC website.

"There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet,(for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes)". And that“In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk”.

Just days after sharing this vital information, the CDC abruptly took it down.

The agency then excused that a draft version had been erroneously posted, without being given a regular review. It then went back to its previous guidelines that do not include any mention of airborne transmission.

Surprisingly enough, this finding doesn’t come from the latest research. It’s been known for a few months that aerosol particles and droplets can travel further than 6 feet and linger in the air for longer. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) brought this fact to light in July, acknowledging the danger of "micro-droplets" and their effectiveness in virus spread. The organization shared this knowledge with the world after 239 scientists made this claim and signed it in an open letter.

A few international health authorities have already stressed this source of transmission but the CDC remains hesitant. The WHO has already alerted people to be precautious when entering small indoor spaces with poor ventilation since that is where the risk of contracting an infection from aerosol exposure is higher.

Doctors, scientists, and researchers have been calling on health authorities to recognize the risk of airborne transmission, but to no end, it seems. And the CDC’s going back on this particular guideline, just proved that.

More evidence is now showing that this virus is primarily transmitted via droplets coming out of people’s noses and mouths, as they talk, sneeze, cough, sing and even breathe. Larger droplets pose a small risk since they tend to fall on the nearby surfaces sooner and are generally picked up by touch. That is why we’ve been told to frequently wash our hands.

The problem resides in the super-tiny respiratory droplets that can linger in the air for long and can be inhaled like any other aerosol particles. This is why we wear masks. 

Though much cannot be said about what the CDC’s next update will be, the bottom line for us is that we need to take better care. We need to be vigilant, perhaps more vigilant than before. Don’t touch your face, wash your hands, maintain a good social distance, and wear a mask. 

The importance of face masks cannot be stressed enough. They are our best defense, in fact, some authorities have gone so far as to liken them to vaccines.