The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that they are shortening their recommended quarantine period for those who are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five after the CEO of Delta Air Lines asked them to do so.
One week ago, Ed Bastian along with Delta’s chief health officer and medical advisor sent a letter to the agency arguing for exactly these changes because the old quarantine requirements were getting in the way of their profits, fretting that omicron could “exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”
“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others,” the CDC said in a statement.
The shortened isolation period is not for everyone, however. Those who have tested positive for the virus can only get back to work after five days if they are asymptomatic, or return after five days from exposure if they are vaccinated. In both cases, the individual should wear a mask at all times when around those outside of their household.
Some doctors and public health experts have hit back at this decision, arguing that the virus can linger in a person’s system for much longer than five days after first testing positive and remain contagious, having called the 10-day period too short in the first place. Delta and the CDC claim that the omicron variant, in particular, remains contagious for a shorter period of time, but it’s impossible for individuals to know what variant they have unless tested in a hospital setting.
Many other people who are not CEOs of huge companies have lashed out at this change by accusing the CDC of bowing easily to corporate pressure, once again showing itself as being willing to sacrifice the average people for the pocketbooks of the rich. The following is just a small sample of hundreds of bitter, bitter jokes coming out of Twitter right now: