Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adjusts her face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Thursday, March 18, 2021, file photo. Credit: Susan Walsh / AP

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Stop demeaning my and society’s intelligence! Most in society are capable of understanding the uncertainties of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Why not the headline: “Isolation recommendations change to meet new evidence”   instead of: “US move to shorten virus isolation stirs confusion, doubt”?

Doubt is created by the media’s insistence that CDC information is confusing. It’s not. Clearly, the risk of infection is different for healthcare and front-line workers, which may be different for young unvaccinated children, or for the vaccinated elderly, or for the unvaccinated, and so on through demographic categories. We each know what demographic we’re in; it’s a small step to understand that our risk of infection varies accordingly.

The general population does understand uncertainty: Will the weather be nice for our outdoor reunion next month? Will we have enough snow to sled next weekend? Is that uncertainty confusing? No, weather is variable. The same with the risk of infection. In a quickly changing, dynamic situation such as the coronavirus pandemic, it would be wrong of the CDC to not alter their recommendations based upon new information.

Please stop with the implication that the CDC is wrong, confusing or sowing doubt when using scientific evidence and population data to keep us informed about changes in our risk of infection. Instead, the CDC correctly assumes most of us are adults, capable of understanding that our vulnerability to infection varies by age, vaccination status, exposure, geography, season, SARS-CoV-2 variant, plus many other variables. Does this mean each of our risks of infection is uncertain? Yes, but that uncertainty is definitely not confusing.

Suzanne Gordon