The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines on what you can and can’t do after being fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines on what you can and can’t … [+] do after being fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
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It may have been one week since you looked at the Barenaked Ladies. And five days since you laughed at them. But perhaps its already been two weeks since you got your last and final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. That would mean that you are now fully vaccinated. So, besides being able to tell people on dating sites that you are fully vaccinated and laid back, easy-going, and love to have a good time, what else would this mean? What would being fully vaccinated allow you to do that you couldnt do before?
Surely, you and many other people are interested in the answers to this do-do question. After all, congratulations. Now that you are fully vaccinated you can social distance and wear face masks, may not quite cut it for many people who are tired of going through unprecedented times. The past year may have you hankering more for some precedented times. The more precedence, the better.
Well, these days getting fully vaccinated does not mean that you can completely return to normal, that is normal pre-2020 times, whatever normal may mean. For example, dont start panting on everyone else, which by the way is rarely a good thing to do. Its not common to hear someone say after a dinner party or a date, that was a great conversation and the panting was superb. Plus, Covid-19 vaccination will not offer you 100% protection. Even after being fully vaccinated, you can still catch the virus, develop Covid-19, and spread the virus to others. Vaccination simply greatly reduces your risk of getting more severe Covid-19 and may potentially reduce your risk of catching the virus.
With the Covid-19 coronavirus still spreading widely in the U.S. and more contagious variants getting more and more common, this is not the time to let your guard down. Since you dont know who may be carrying the virus, try to maintain social distancing and mask wearing when you are in public. Social distancing means keeping at least six feet or one Denzel (because Denzel Washington is about six feet tall) apart from everyone else. And keep washing your hands thoroughly and frequently and disinfecting all objects that may have been contaminated.
This may sound like nothings changed with vaccination but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does offer some important differences. And one of the big differences is what to do about travel. If you recall, before the vaccine arrived, travel typically meant that you had to quarantine yourself for 14 days after arriving at your destination. Travel often meant getting tested for Covid-19 before and after the trip as well. However, now, getting fully vaccinated may allow you to forego the testing and quarantining before and after traveling domestically.
Getting vaccinated doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t social distance unless you are sure that everyone … [+] around you is vaccinated as well. (Photo by Dmitry Feoktistov\TASS via Getty Images)
Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS
The exception is when youve been around someone with a Covid-19 infection. For example, imagine that you were staying at the Mar-A-Lago resort during a Covid-19 outbreak and came into close contact with someone who had subsequently tested positive shortly thereafter. Regardless of whether you had symptoms and whether you were fully vaccinated, such a contact would necessitate keeping yourself quarantined for 14 days and getting tested for Covid-19. Again thats because the vaccines protection is not 100%. The vaccine is good but not like a concrete condom.
International travel is a bit different from domestic travel. Where you are going matters. Before traveling, check out what the regulations and the Covid-19 coronavirus situation may be at your destination country. Your destination may require you to get tested before departing the United States. Also, before boarding a flight back to the U.S., you will still need to show documentation of either a negative Covid-19 test result or recovery from Covid-19. Oh, and within three to five days of your return to the U.S., you will need to get Covid-19 testing. The difference is that you wont need to automatically self-quarantine upon your return.
When it comes to Covid-19 vaccination, its not all about you, though. Being vaccinated is like wearing clothes at the workplace. You cant just say, as long as I wear clothes, everything will be cool. Nothing bad can happen. For example, pogo stick day at the office would be very different depending on what everyone else happens to be wearing or not wearing. Similarly, your risk of catching the Covid-19 coronavirus or infecting others increases the more unvaccinated people there are around you.
Therefore, a lot more leeway is possible in locations where everyone is fully vaccinated. The CDC says that you can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart. This does not mean participate in group hugs and play Twister. Keep avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated areas. Its still a good idea to stay apart from each other when you can. However, having you and everyone around you vaccinated greatly reduces the risks of more close contact here and there.
Unless you can tell for sure that everyone is fully vaccinated, maintain social distancing whenever … [+] you can. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Therefore, before going to an indoor location such as a gym, check to see if everyone there has been fully vaccinated. This will determine how much you may be able relax precautions. Without a guarantee that everyone there is fully vaccinated, its a good idea to maintain strict social distancing and face mask wearing. Again, avoid any locations that may be crowded, may not be well-ventilated, or may not maintain Covid-19 precautions such as regularly disinfecting surfaces.
Keep in mind that fully vaccinated does not mean getting just one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine or not waiting a full two weeks after the last dose of the vaccine. Dont necessarily take peoples words alone that they are fully vaccinated because surprise, surprise they may actually lie about their vaccination status. And in this case, lie doesnt mean recline on a sofa. Yes, shocking but true. People may not be truthful about whether they are really laid back, whether they are wearing pants on a Zoom call, or whether they got the vaccine. Thus, if a business claims that everyone there is fully vaccinated, ask them how they are verifying this, whether they indeed ask to see everyones Covid-19 vaccination cards as proof. If there is any doubt of someones vaccination status, err on the side of being careful.
These guidelines may change as more studies are completes, telling us more about the Covid-19 vaccines, and as new variants of the Covid-19 coronavirus continue to spread. Its still not clear how long the vaccines will offer protection. Its also not clear yet how well the vaccines may prevent you from catching the virus in the first place. The vaccines seem to offer reasonable protection against the known variants right now but that could change. This is yet another reason why maintaining other precautions as much as you can is a good idea. Remember the Covid-19 vaccines are like Swiss cheese. This doesnt mean that you should put the vaccine in a ham sandwich. It means that the vaccines are not perfect and have some holes. Other simultaneous precautions can help cover those holes. After all, its not a good idea to leave your holes exposed.