The Funniest 'CDC Recommends' Memes, As Internet Reacts to New COVID-19 Guidance

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their coronavirus guidance in relation to quarantining, social media users have been joking about what the health agency will recommend next.

On Monday, December 27, the CDC shortened the isolation period for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease. Instead of quarantining for 10 consecutive days, these individuals will now only have to do so for five days, followed by an additional five of wearing masks around others.

To reiterate, these revised guidelines only apply to those who are asymptomatic. If you have tested positive for coronavirus and are actually displaying symptoms, then the CDC still advises that you quarantine for the original 10-day period. In general, the organization maintains that the best way to prevent further spread of the virus is still to get vaccinated and have booster shots.

While some have welcomed the change (for instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that it will help to "keep our society running smoothly" by minimizing the disruption to workplaces), it's not been universally embraced.

Some have branded the move as a "reckless" one and argued that it is "a little incongruous" when you take into consideration the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has outright refused to adopt the loosened rules and is still adhering to the previous guidance.

In response to the 10-day isolation period being controversially halved, some Twitter users have been posting humorous predictions about what the CDC will advocate next. Mimicking a news announcement, the memes are structured with the words "The CDC recommends," followed by something outlandish or just plain bizarre. Here are some of the best examples.

The account "Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens" likened the CDC's latest decision to a certain ill-fated decision made by the Trojans.

Taking a similarly critical stance, @Mtaylorcrew wrote: "The CDC now recommends you can run with scissors." And @ALostrich posted that the CDC unhygienically advised "eating straight off the floor at Waffle House".

Meanwhile, @california_arj conceived a scenario where the CDC assures people that it's okay to stick forks into electrical outlets

Alluding to how the shortened isolation period will get people back to work faster after a positive test, @timothymeinberg joked that "the CDC recommends taking your quarantine during your lunch break."

A lot of the memes take the form of the CDC endorsing absurd song lyrics. For example, @SaeedDiCaprio quoted the song "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, while @anneketruus took the opportunity to reference a One Direction track.

Outside of just music, there are a lot of other pop-culture memes. For example, @alicegoldfuss wrote that "the CDC recommends simply walking into Mordor," a reference to something that you absolutely should not do in the world of The Lord of the Rings.

Others have adapted the format to have an entirely new meaning, by getting the CDC to voice their own opinions. For instance, the official "Do the Bay" Twitter account has the CDC warning people against abbreviating San Francisco to "San Fran" and @aikiwomannc has it endorsing that you "boop" a cute dog's nose.

Returning to the subject of pop culture, @BrianAcunis dreams of the CDC recommending that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is finally greenlit by Sony.

CDC Headquarters in Atlanta
Image shows the CDC headquarters (in Atlanta, Georgia) overlaid with the Twitter logo. The health agency's latest coronavirus guidance has been the subject of ridicule on social media. Denis Charlet / Tami Chappell/Getty Images