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Vaccinated and frustrated

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If you're vaccinated and frustrated by the CDC's reversal on masks, you're not alone. Simone Biles won't compete in the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics. And annual cicadas are emerging from the ground.

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'I thought I did everything right'

Like many Americans, Leslie Richin thought she had done her part to combat the pandemic by getting vaccinated so she could finally go without a mask in public. "I thought I did everything right, but now you’re telling me that I have to live in a restricted way again. ... I don’t want to go backward," said Richin, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She thought the pandemic was fizzling out. But the CDC's new guidance to wear masks in indoor settings, again, seems to suggest it's far from over. Many vaccinated people told USA TODAY that they're relieved the CDC is recommending masks again, but they're frustrated that it was lifted two months ago, which may have contributed to high transmission rates among the unvaccinated. For the first time in more than three months, cases in the U.S. are now averaging more than 60,000 per day. Deaths are over 2,000 per week and health officials say unvaccinated people make up more than 90% of those deaths.

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A store employee wearing a mask cleans a window with a sign requesting customers put on masks at a shop on South Congress Avenue. Travis County in Texas moved back to Stage 4 of COVID rules and health officials are asking residents who have yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine to sign up for one immediately.
A store employee wearing a mask cleans a window with a sign requesting customers put on masks at a shop on South Congress Avenue. Travis County in Texas moved back to Stage 4 of COVID rules and health officials are asking residents who have yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine to sign up for one immediately.

Simone Biles withdraws from all-around

Simone Biles will not compete in the Olympic all-around. Jade Carey will replace Biles in the competition on Thursday, USA Gymnastics said. Biles' withdrawal from the all-around, where she is the defending Olympic gold medalist, comes a day after she pulled out of the team final after one event. USA Gymnastics said Biles would not compete so that she can focus on her mental health, and that Biles would continue to be evaluated to determine whether she would compete in event finals next week. "We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."

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Silver medalists USA's Jordan Chiles and USA's Simone Biles celebrate on the podium of the artistic gymnastics women's team final.
Silver medalists USA's Jordan Chiles and USA's Simone Biles celebrate on the podium of the artistic gymnastics women's team final.

What everyone's talking about

England relaxes travel restrictions for Americans

Starting next week, vaccinated Americans can visit England without quarantining, a long-awaited change for travelers. The lifting of the England quarantine requirement comes just a week after the CDC and the U.S. State Department recommended against travel to the United Kingdom due to rising COVD-19 case counts. U.S. citizens have been allowed to travel to the U.K. during the pandemic but faced travel restrictions, including coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine. Under the relaxed rules for vaccinated Americans and Europeans, visitors will still be subject to testing requirements.

People dancing at Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in London, England. As of 12:01 on Monday, July 19, England dropped most of its remaining COVID-19 social restrictions.
People dancing at Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in London, England. As of 12:01 on Monday, July 19, England dropped most of its remaining COVID-19 social restrictions.

Infrastructure bill advances to Senate debate

Getting closer. The Senate could pass a sweeping infrastructure bill by this weekend now that it cleared an important procedural hurdle Wednesday. By a vote of 67-32, senators voted to advance the bipartisan bill, clearing the way for one of President Joe Biden's key priorities. The vote to move the bill to formal debate came only hours after the White House announced it reached a deal with the Senate on a mammoth bipartisan infrastructure package that has been in the works for weeks. The bill – the largest transportation bill in U.S. history – is a key piece of Biden's agenda that would modernize not just roads and railways but broadband and waterways.

Sprinklers water the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on July 26, 2021, in Washington, DC, as the Senate works towards finalizing the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Sprinklers water the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on July 26, 2021, in Washington, DC, as the Senate works towards finalizing the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Real quick

Guess who's back? It's cicadas!

Buzz, buzz, y'all! A familiar buzz is ringing in the ears of people across the Midwest and East Coast as annual cicadas begin to emerge from the ground. They're a different breed from our dearly-departed friends, the Brood X cicadas. Annual cicadas emerge every year in the middle of summer, and they live for only about two to three years – more than a decade shorter than Brood X. These cicadas will sing a different tune from their predecessors but come out in smaller numbers, according to cicada expert Gene Kritsky. "Adults can live for about four weeks and we will see them now until September," he said. The last of the Brood X cicadas died out earlier this summer, most of them in June and early July, after spending about six weeks buzzing around looking for a mate. RIP.

The periodical cicada (right) is half to three-quarters the size of the annual cicadas that come out every summer.
The periodical cicada (right) is half to three-quarters the size of the annual cicadas that come out every summer.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CDC mask recommendation, Simone Biles, England travel restrictions, cicadas. It's Wednesday's news.

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