Top of Mind Thursday, May 20, 2021: Clear as Mud

This week, the CDC issued new guidelines for mask wearing, given that more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and infection/hospitalization rates are down significantly.

Leverage2Market LogoThis sounds like a good thing. Clarifying when masks are and are not needed should be helpful to all of us. Except in this case, many people are more confused than ever.

The CDC says masks are no longer required indoors and outdoors if you’re vaccinated. Except in some situations where an individual is high risk. And people who aren’t vaccinated must still wear masks.

How will businesses know whether or not someone is vaccinated? There is no “vaccine passport” available. In some places, public health officials are requiring businesses to check vaccinations. In other locations, government is forbidding anyone to ask about an individual’s personal vaccination status.

Some businesses are removing mask requirements totally. Others are relying on the public to be honest about their status and wear masks if they’re not vaccinated. Some organizations, like colleges are also requiring everyone on their campus to be vaccinated, while some stores are requiring everyone present to wear masks.

So are we all clear on what we should do? What if you have children too young to be vaccinated, but about to go back to in-person school? What if you interact with someone who is immunocompromised? What if….

I have no doubt the CDC intended this directive to be helpful. But, as often happens with government mandates, sometimes trying too hard to get to a solution just makes things more complicated.

How often does this happen in your business? The law of unintended consequences says solving one problem without considering the consequences can create or exacerbate another. What are you doing to think through potential solutions to ensure you’ve considered what unexpected results they might trigger?

Clearly, this is something we need to do more often.

Contact me to find out how you can get heard above the noise–even in a crisis situation.

Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

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