CDC Quarantine Update Spurs Memes Online

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance that shortens the recommended quarantine time for breakthrough COVID-19 cases. And it’s led to a flurry of memes online.

In a statement on Tuesday, the CDC announced that the 10-day quarantine length would be shortened to five days for those with asymptomatic symptoms.

“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 agency said.

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The decision immediately spurred widespread debate, with some even suggesting that Delta Airlines, which had recently argued in favor of such a move, influenced the CDC’s decision.

Users on Twitter and other social media platforms responded to the news by posing as the CDC and sharing announcements of their own. Given that many felt that the CDC’s decision was counterproductive, each tweet came off more ridiculous than the last.

“The CDC just announced you don’t actually have to wash your hands, just get the fingies a little wet,” @ArielDumas wrote.

Another user used the internet’s current obsession with Saturday Night Live (SNL) comedian Pete Davidson to criticize the agency.

“the CDC announced they’re dating pete davidson,” @TheirMaddesty added.

Other references were made to popular culture as well, including the iconic movie franchise Jurassic Park.

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“the CDC just announced you can fill a theme park with dinosaurs again if you really learned your lesson last time,” @MNateShyamalan said.

And for those wondering, it’s definitely permitted to text your ex while entering the New Year, at least according to @SamanthaWeiner1 (The Daily Dot advises against this).

“The CDC just announced that it is okay to text your ex ‘Happy New Year, just thinking about you :)’ at 12:01am on January 1st,” she tweeted.

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The mockery of the CDC’s health decisions appeared to have no end as countless Twitter users joined in.

“the CDC announced that i don’t have to tell anyone else in the group that a zombie bit me a few miles back,” @Chinchillazllla said.

Despite accusations that the CDC’s decision was made to appease the airline industry and its profits—or just giving up on fighting the pandemic entirely—the agency says the update reflects the evolving science.

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for five days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for five days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”


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*First Published: Dec 29, 2021, 8:25 am CST

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Mikael Thalen

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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.





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