After two-and-a-half years of the pandemic, a new poll found two in five Americans feel like life is more or less back to normal.  And this news might make even more people feel that way . . .

The CDC loosened its guidelines yesterday and no longer recommends things like social distancing and quarantines in most cases.  One official conceded it’s now obvious that covid is, quote, “here to stay.”

The director of the CDC already said that was LIKELY true back in March.

Basically, they think the weaker variants will start to come and go, more like the flu.

They say the situation isn’t nearly as dire now that most people are vaccinated, or have some immunity from past infections.  We’ve also gotten better at treating it.

One disease expert said the CDC is basically acknowledging that most people are OVER all the restrictions.  So the new guidelines are supposed to reflect that.

Here are three big shifts in what they now recommend . . .

1.  No need to quarantine if you’ve been exposed, unless you have symptoms.  They said that for vaccinated people in December.  Now they’re saying it for everyone.  Instead, wear a mask for ten days, and test on Day 5.

You SHOULD still isolate if you have symptoms though.  If you test positive, isolate for at least five days . . . stay away from high-risk people for ten . . . and if your symptoms come back, start at Day Zero again.

2.  Kids don’t have to isolate just because they’ve been exposed.  And routine testing at schools isn’t necessary anymore unless there’s an outbreak.  Those are big ones as back-to-school season kicks off. However, they do still recommend routine testing in high-risk settings, like long-term care facilities.

3.  Social distancing isn’t always necessary.  You don’t need to worry so much about staying six feet away from people, especially in well-ventilated areas.

One thing they haven’t wavered on is that vaccines and boosters are still crucial.

They’re not great at preventing you from catching covid, but they do seem to help prevent severe illness.  So they say to make sure you stay up-to-date on those going forward.