Goodbye to all that. Mostly.Michael Ho Wai Lee/SOPA Images/Zuma

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If you are among the 70 percent of Americans who live in an area with low or medium Covid risk, you can finally ditch your mask, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday. And don’t feel like you need to keep your social distance, either.

The new guidance for determining Covid risk considers not just the number of cases in a community, but also the number of new Covid hospital admissions, and the percentage of beds they occupy. The announcement signals a shift in the public health agency’s approach to the virus away from lowering overall cases and toward protecting the hospital system. New York and California already lifted indoor mask mandates earlier this month, paving the way for other localities to follow suit. A new CDC map, to be updated weekly, tells people which level of risk their community falls under.

“With widespread population immunity, the overall risk of severe disease is now generally lower,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a call with reporters today. “We want to give people a break from things like masking when our levels are low, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things get worse in the future.”

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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