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Scott Steepleton, Editor
4:17 pm PST February 23, 2021

If you’re feeling confused about COVID protocols, you’re not alone.

Take parents in Malibu angered by the recent agreement on school “reopening” between the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and its teachers. Under that pact, elementary schools will not return to normal capacity until among other things teachers have access to a vaccine for two weeks.

This despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says teacher vaccinations are not necessary for schools to reopen.

Malibu mom Jennifer Paras-Pappas is among those speaking out.

“Many families are significantly impacted because public schools will only open for one afternoon, one day a week,” she said, “instead of the full capacity allowed by the department of health like many area schools and private schools are.”

At the other end of the age spectrum, seniors who have started their vaccine series (or been able to do the single-shot version) in recent weeks have been thrilled at the prospect of soon being able to see their younger relatives.

But that idea is being shot down.

The CDC says you’re “fully vaccinated” two weeks after your one-dose shot or after the second shot in a two-dose series.

Guidance like that has people of a certain age jumping for joy after a year in the dumps.

Now they’re being told that social distancing and wearing masks are still urged even for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist is reluctant to “recommend” grandparents mixing with their progeny. That's because even the fully vaccinated can be a spreader.

This is the same expert whose mask recommendations have shifted many times over the past year, from “no reason to wear one” to today’s “two-layers-are-better-than-one” philosophy.

I haven’t hugged my mom in more than a year, haven’t spent any time in her new place (nor has she been over to mine) and when we have been in close-ish contact, masks have been a must.

She recently got her second shot and I was hoping that meant we’d be able to mix a little more.

Now, I’m not so sure.

So, Mom, if you’re reading this, the reason I won’t be over is not me.

It’s you.

Scott Steepleton is the editor of Malibu Surfside News. He loves his mother. You can reach him at