The CDC recognizes the specific challenge faced by mothers over the past two years in attempting to keep up with the frequent changes to our COVID-19 guidance. For that reason, we have revised our most up-to-date guidelines to reflect the real-world scenarios that moms face.


Masks have been proven to prevent the transmission of COVID. Masks that contain phrases on them that protest the concept of wearing masks (e.g., MASKING =TYRANNY, WE THE SHEEPLE, etc.) do still prevent the transmission of the virus—however, they have been proven to increase the likelihood of eye-rolling and deep, dramatic sighs from passersby.

Always wear a mask if:

  • You have Resting Bitch Face and are tired of old men telling you to “Smile, sweetheart.”
  • You or anyone nearby within an enclosed space recently consumed a large number of cruciferous vegetables.
  • You wish to mutter rude and/or inappropriate comments regarding the people around you.
  • You didn’t have time to brush your teeth.
  • You overdid it on the lip fillers and you need to buy yourself a little time to come up with an explanation for the bright pink slugs that are now your lips.


Tests can detect the presence of the virus by inserting a swab through the nostril and circling the inside of the nostril anywhere from three to fifty times, depending on the mood, hunger level, and zodiac sign of the test administrator. A test administrator who has recently had to replace an expensive car part or who has failed to guess today’s Wordle may choose to insert the swab all the way to the brain.

You can also administer COVID tests yourself, using at-home kits (procured, at this point, exclusively through the exchange of sexual favors, kidneys, and/or firstborn children). These at-home test kits allow for a “just the tip” administration for those individuals who wish to comply with COVID safety measures in name only, and who have a history of ignoring reality and/or self-gaslighting. If you are unable to procure a home test, you may locate any one of the following common household items, place your nose as close as possible to the item, and then inhale deeply:

  • Diaper pail
  • Forgotten container of black beans at the back of the fridge
  • That spot on the carpet where the sippy cup of milk spilled last month (if you do so and do not gag, you probably have COVID)

You must get tested if:

  • You recently traveled on an airplane, unless you flew with American Airlines, because the scientific consensus is that you’ve suffered enough already.
  • You have a nasal and/or swab fetish.
  • You recently dined at an indoor restaurant, where the server sounded congested and pulled her mask down at one point to better enunciate “Thousand Island dressing.”
  • Your boss insisted you attend an in-person conference, and you are half hoping that you contracted a case of spite-COVID from the event to prove what an unreasonable douche he is.
  • You ate the peanut butter sandwich that came home with just one bite out of it from your child’s backpack.


Typically, quarantine means staying home, avoiding other people, and giving yourself a pass on what you previously considered to be non-negotiable personal hygiene tasks. However, if you are currently the default parent in your household, quarantine means being trapped at home with your children, attempting to meet 100 percent of their physical, social, and emotional needs, with the addition of an N-95 mask firmly affixed to your face at all times. Because you will need to shout to be heard through a five-ply mask and over the unrelenting and ear-splitting volume of the television, you will likely develop a sore throat. You will believe this is a sign that you have COVID and will be filled with anxiety. This is normal and untreatable. Another common side effect of parental quarantine is the onset of detailed, resentment-filled fantasies about what would happen if the tables were turned and it was your partner quarantining and not you. This altered mental state is not a symptom of COVID itself, but rather an acute manifestation of the attendant rage that accompanies parenting through the pandemic. It is untreatable.

You must quarantine for at least five days if:

  • You have recently come into close contact with an ex-partner who is currently partnered with someone more attractive than you, regardless of vaccination status.
  • You gained weight during Season 1 of COVID, so you no longer own bras that fit your body and you just want to feel comfortable for Christ’s sake.
  • You are up to date on your vaccinations, but you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID and your proof of vaccination card went through the washing machine in your jeans pocket and is now illegible.
  • You are not up to date on your vaccinations, and you—actually, never mind. You’ll just keep doing whatever the hell you want anyway.


It should be noted that with immunity levels rising, through both widespread infection and vaccinations, the CDC is hopeful that soon the pandemic could move into its next phase, the endemic phase. In anticipation of this shift, the CDC recommends that you begin to consider new topics of small talk to replace pandemic banter. Suggestions include: whether you can pull off letting your hair go gray and/or wearing overalls; sharing recommendations for the best purses to use to sneak cocktails into children’s sports games; reminiscing about where you were the moment they rescued Baby Jessica; and sharing sotto voce stories of your wildest benders from college, and then silently squinting into the distance.