So you’ve been vaccinated, congratulations! Isn’t it funny that being poked with a needle has become such a bright, beaming light at the end of a tunnel? There’s never been a better time to grab that COVID-19 vaccination record from the CDC, hold onto it for dear life and run towards the next airport, friend’s house or park without abandon. So now the question becomes… what can you do? How does life change once you’ve been vaccinated? When is this whole pandemic ordeal finally going be over?!
This is a piece all about helping vaccinated people re-enter the world with grace, practical knowledge and confidence. We’re certainly not out of the woods yet — the majority of adults in the U.S still aren’t fully vaccinated and we’ve got a long way to go before life is going to look totally “normal” again, but each new vaccinated human is a step in the right direction. In this piece we’re going to cover:
- Safety guidelines from the CDC for vaccinated individuals
- Advice from medical experts around what activities are safe, which aren’t, and whether vaccinated people can spread the virus
- When, where and around whom you should still be wearing masks
- The top grooming, fitness and travel gear for helping you re-enter the world
When Am I Fully Vaccinated?
According to the CDC, you’re fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of a two dose vaccine like the PFizer/BioNTech or Modern vaccines, and two weeks after your first dose of a one shot vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson.
It’s important to note that in normal times, the average person does not abide by all advice from the CDC, not even close. We don’t always avoid certain foods when they’ve been published on their website as a higher risk for salmonella infection, and despite their findings on lung injuries plenty of people still use e-cigarettes and vapes on a daily basis.
However, as more and more people get vaccinated and the pandemic is slowly but surely emerging into our rearview mirrors, it’s more important than ever before that we follow their guidelines closely. Someday COVID-19 won’t occupy nearly as much mental space as it has for the past year plus, but for now we’ve got a bit more work to do.
The CDC and top epidemiological experts are still learning about how much protection being vaccinated provides, so it’s still a good idea to take precautions like keeping six feet between you and strangers, wearing a mask when around unvaccinated folks, etc.
Safe Activities for Vaccinated People
The CDC has recently updated their guidelines for what’s safe to do as a vaccinated person, and certain activities that were highly risky for the past year are now a much lower risk! Wahoo!
Vaccinated people can visit with other vaccinated people indoors safely without wearing masks. You can also visit one household of unvaccinated people without masks if no one is at risk of developing a serious case of COVID-19.
You can travel domestically and internationally, depending on the destination, without a pre- or post-travel test or quarantining. You do, however, still need to get a test if your destination requires it and you’ll need to show a negative COVID-19 test upon boarding a flight back to the US from an international destination. You also still need to abide by airlines’ guidelines when it comes to mask wearing, i.e wearing one, even if you’ve had the vaccine.
If you’ve been around someone who later tests positive for COVID-19 you don’t need to quarantine or get tested, unless you develop symptoms. Speaking of — if you develop COVID-19 symptoms you should still get tested.
Is There Anything I Can’t Do Once Vaccinated?
The CDC still does not recommend large or medium gatherings of people, as the majority of American adults still haven’t received a vaccine and it’s still too high risk for an outbreak. So, those long awaited concerts, music festivals, sports games and arenas of all kinds are going to have to wait until the next stage of the pandemic.
Things like dining indoors are still a risk but it’s a lower one once you’ve been vaccinated. Do so at your own discretion, keeping tabs on if you develop any symptoms after the fact.
Can I Still Spread the Virus if I’ve Been Vaccinated?
Good question, the answer is not super clear yet. While the CDC director has stated that vaccinated people can’t carry the virus, medical experts have pushed back. While the vaccines we’ve got provide a significant amount of protection, it’s still not 100%. So, the jury is still out on whether people who’ve gotten a vaccine can get infected with mild or asymptomatic cases and potentially spread it to others. Stay tuned for more information on that front.
Do I Still Have to Wear a Mask?
Yes, masks are still going to be a large part of our lives for a bit. You should wear masks when visiting people indoors who aren’t yet vaccinated and are at a higher risk for a serious case of COVID-19. You should also wear them around people whose vaccination status you’re unsure of, like strangers in the grocery store. If you are deciding to gather with large amounts of people indoors, you should also wear masks to mitigate the risk.
Products For Re-Entering the World
Okay, now for the fun part. So you’ve been vaccinated, and so have some of your good friends, and it’s now time to get together for the first time in a year. Wow! Very exciting. Also daunting, considering that you’ve got a whole bunch of grooming to do, weight to lose and potentially travel to book. Don’t worry, I’ve got you.
I’ve gathered some helpful supplies for washing, trimming, cleansing and moisturizing your way back into a presentable human form. I’ve also included some fitness equipment, in case you’ve got some quarantine weight you hope to lose. Of course, there’s no pressure to lose any weight, gain any weight, or change your appearance in any way — re-enter the world however you want! There’s also a few pieces of killer luggage in case you’re itching to book that desperately needed getaway from your apartment, and you want a new vessel to go with you.
PART I: GROOMING
1. Harry’s Truman Razor
This was a SPY 2020 Man Awards Winner for best razor for men, and we hope it’s obvious why. The textured rubber handle gives you plenty of control over your shave, even when wet, and it’s got a weighted core that feels solid in your hand. It comes with one German-engineered blade for simplicity and stability, and it comes in bright colors for adding vibrancy to your bathroom. This is a great manual razor if you need a new grooming tool but don’t want to splurge on an electric razor.
2. Braun Electric Razor
This is a favorite electric razor amongst Spy editors for its efficiency and close shave. It’s gentle but powerful and has five different shaving elements built into it so you get more bang for your buck, and hair for your shave. You can use it wet or dry and it’s got sonic vibrations built in as well so it glides over your skin comfortably.
3. Philips Norelco 9300 Electric Shaver
This is one of the best rotary shavers around, and another excellent option for cleaning up your face, neck and other body parts post-quarantine hair growth. It’s got ContourDetect Technology that enables each head to move in eight different directions and closely follow every curve on your face. This helps it collect up to 20% more hair each pass, and enables a cut that’s 30% closer. It’s also got a SmartClean+ System that cleans, dries, charges and lubricates your shaver all in one go.
4. Philips Norelco Multigroom Trimmer
If it’s less your face that needs grooming and more other areas that need… trimming… this Philips Norelco trimmer is the man for the job. It’s got 13 different attachments for all your grooming needs, and the DualCut technology gives you precision. There’s no oil needed to maintain high performance with thi strimmer, and the blades and guards are easy to detach and rinse after each use.
5. Baxter of California Fortifying Shampoo
While learning to cut your own hair at home during the quarantine was useful in a pinch, now it’s time to really take care of your hair and make it presentable. This shampoo from Baxter of California is another favorite brand here at Spy. It cleanses as it repairs damaged hair and is formulated to leave hair stronger after each wash. It’s also got a fragrance blend you’ll love, so you’ll smell nice too.
6. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner
Properly conditioning your hair is also a critical component in making it look nice, and OGX is an excellent brand to trust with your strands. This conditioner is made with coconut milk and will hydrate your hair from root to tip. It’s designed to strengthen and help your hair lock in good moisture, and it also smells delicious.
7. Dove Men+ Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
We hope, for the sake of your roommate bubble, you didn’t stop wearing deodorant during the quarantine. However, if you’d like to try a new brand, need some anti-sweat protection for workouts or want to make sure you don’t smell — this one is a favorite among Spy readers. It provides 48-hour sweat protection while being gentle on your skin. It’s also got moisturizer built into it for protecting against irritation.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Men’s Cologne
This is a favorite cologne for men here at Spy for its sophisticated, youthful, masculine scent. It’s got a vetiver base as well as hints of bergamot, ginger and sage inside. There’s also a bit of apple for a little punch that results in a bold aroma that’s perfect for re-entering the world with confidence after quarantining for a year. COVID-19, who?
9. Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer
Give your parched skin some hydration with this top-rated moisturizer from Jack Black. It’s a lightweight formula with a broad-spectrum sunscreen built in, a must-use for proper skincare. The emollient formula is designed to improve skin’s appearance and moisturize without excessive oiliness or feeling heavy.
10. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This is an excellent affordable cleanser for properly washing your face without stripping it of protective moisture or other essential oils. It’s a non-foaming daily face wash made with moisturizing hyaluronic acid as well as ceramides and glycerin. Hyaluronic acid is great for replenishing your skin’s natural moisture layer, a key in its daily protection. It’s dermatologist recommended and, unlike other high-quality skincare, is not super expensive.
PART II: FITNESS EQUIPMENT
11. Sporzon! Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Set
When it comes to lifting weights, it’s good to start small. This set of coated dumbbells is perfect for beginners or those looking to add weight to other workouts – like pilates, barre or yoga. The weights come in three, five and eight pounds and the neoprene material is protective enough to use outdoors and provides for a secure grip even when sweaty.
12. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
If one of your post-quarantine goals is to lose weight before you re-enter the world, these adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex are a sound investment. They’ve got a heftier price tag than other weights, but they’re also designed to replace 15 different sets of weights, so you do the math. You can adjust the weight in 2.5 lb increments between 5-52.5lbs with the selection dials and use them for a wide variety of workouts for biceps, shoulders, abs, chest, back and more.
13. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
Investing in a new treadmill is a great plan for shedding a few pounds before re-entering society. This treadmill from NordicTrack has a SMART-Response motor so your speed and resistance training are as efficient as possible, and it’s got 10% incline control via the OneTouch system. It also has a SpaceSaver design and EasyLift Assist built in so you can fold it up and store it when you’re not using it.
14. PYHIGH Indoor Cycling Bike
PYHIGH makes an excellent cycling bike for working out at home that doesn’t have an exorbitant price tag. It’s got a 35 lb bidirectional flywheel built in for a smooth ride as well as a quiet belt system so you can grind without waking up the whole house. It’s got an extra wide seat for comfort and an LCD monitor where you can track your speed, elapsed time, resistance and other metrics.
PART III: TRAVEL
15. Mack Weldon Ion Weekender
Okay so you might be ready to jet set off for a two week vacation somewhere international. That’s fine! But maybe just a weekend? This weekender bag from Mack Weldon is made of water-resistant twill for protecting your belongings despite rough conditions, and it’s got eight different compartments for proper organization. The silver interior lining is anti-odor and it comes in black and navy heather colors.
16. Away The Carry On
Away makes some of the nicest suitcases around, and their Carry On is designed to make travel as seamless as possible. It’s sized to easily fit in the overhead compartments of most airlines and the polycarbonate hard shell is protective of all that’s inside. It’s got 360° spinner wheels that make navigating busy airports and train stations easy, and it’s super lightweight. You also have the option of adding in a battery for charging your phone, if you’re willing to splurge a little more.
17. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage Set
If you’re chomping at the bit and feeling particularly zealous about traveling again, maybe a luggage set is right for you! This one from Samsonite is one of the best luggage sets out there and is available at a pretty affordable price. The set includes a 20″ carry-on that meets size requirements for planes, as well as two bigger checked suitcases for longer excursions. They’ve all got a polycarbonate shell for protection as well as side-mounted TSA locks. The multi-directional wheels make it easy to navigate, and there are mesh dividers inside for helping you organize.