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Skimm'd while tuning in to SkimmU commencement

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Quote of the Day

"I really love that I finally got it" – 10-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, on becoming the country's newest national chess master. What a king.

Phone, Wallet, Keys, Mask?

The Story

Fully vaccinated people: you can leave the face masks at home.

Can it be?

Yes. But first a refresher: before social distancing and lockdowns, people would often speak face-to-face with one another, sometimes too closely. Breath mints and dental appointments were commonplace. Then, scientists showed that masks can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by at least 50%. So we suited up. But now, the CDC is saying 'release the mask-en.' And that those who are fully vaccinated can drop their masks in almost every situation.

Tell me more.

New data shows that the vaccines are working as well in the real world as they were in clinical trials. So the CDC's saying anyone who's two weeks past their vaccine regimen can go mask-free indoors and outdoors, no social distancing required. But close talkers, beware – it's not free rein everywhere. The CDC still wants masks on planes, buses, and in hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

How will we be able to tell who's vaxxed and who's not?

We won't. This is why the Biden admin is nudging everyone to get jabbed, part of its goal of having 70% of American adults vaccinated by America's birthday. But the new guidance could create confusion, especially since the CDC's changed its guidelines more often than people reapply sunscreen. While it's rare – but still possible – to transmit the virus while vaccinated, the guidance could make those who are more at-risk more uncomfortable. And those with a weakened immune system are being advised to talk to their doctors before dropping the masks.

But what if I like my mask...

You're not alone. It's been a struggle for many to open up. And some vaccinated people are holding onto their masks for all sorts of reasons – including a sense of privacy, extra caution, and not wanting to be told to smile. But if you're ready to go maskless, beware: about 3 million masks are being tossed each minute. Disposable face masks, especially, are a problem since they contain plastic microfibers that can further pollute rivers and oceans and affect wildlife. Here are some Mother Earth-approved tips for how to toss masks safely.


We're more than one year into this pandemic. Some of us have been itching to ditch masks. Others are newfound mask-nevernudes. But thanks to vaccines, we now have options. And that's a shot of good news.

PS: Here are all the guidelines for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

And Also...This

Where the world is watching…

The Middle East. Yesterday, the Israeli military got ground troops ready along the Gaza border. The latest bout of conflict was triggered by recent Israeli attempts to evict six Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, as well as clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Since then, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have launched about 1,800 rockets at Israel while Israel has responded with more than 600 airstrikes. At least 119 Palestinians have been killed, including 31 children. Israel's missile defense system has intercepted most of the rockets, but some have reached population centers. At least seven people have been killed in Israel, including two children. The international community has urged restraint. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said the operation will continue "as long as it takes to restore peace and security."

  • On two fronts: While the Israeli military is looking toward Gaza, the streets of Israel are descending into chaos. Jewish and Arab vigilantes have carried out attempted lynchings. And there have been reports of mobs targeting businesses, cars, and places of worship. It is the worst internal violence in decades.

Who's saying 'that's gonna be a crypt-no for me, doge'...

Elon Musk. Earlier this week, the Tesla CEO said it will no longer be accepting bitcoin because of concerns over "fossil fuels." Turns out, "mining" the digital currency requires powerful computers to use large amounts of energy. And often those computers are powered by coal – raising concerns about the crypto's carbon footprint. One study found bitcoin mining used about as much energy as the Netherlands in 2019. The news sent bitcoin's stock price tumbling. But there's a new doge in this fight. Yesterday, Musk said he's working with the makers of Dogecoin to improve their "transaction efficiency." Someone grab a treat.

...Oh and speaking of digital assets, NBA Top Shot's scoring points.

Psst…if you still feel lost when it comes to crypto, we answered some FAQs here.

Where checks could get smaller…

Georgia. Yesterday, it said it's cutting the $300 weekly federal unemployment bonus made available during the pandemic. At least 15 other states have decided to do the same. Meaning, nearly 2 million Americans could be seeing smaller unemployment paychecks as early as next month. State leaders are citing a labor shortage for the change. Some Americans have found unemployment checks can pay more than minimum wage jobs. Now state govs want to put an end to that bonus, hoping it'll drive people back to work and help boost the economy.

  • Some, not all: California could be heading down another route. And is considering giving Californians an additional stimulus check to boost the economy.

When you're not in the mood for a boOZY weekend...

Check out OZY Fest. Headliners include H.E.R., Dr. Anthony Fauci, Tig Notaro, and Matt James (yes, that Matt James). The best part: you can stream it live all weekend.

Who's always making people proud…

"The Proud Family."


Congrats SkimmU, Class of 2021. ICYMI, we just wrapped our first semester of SkimmU – our virtual course series designed to teach you the crucial life lessons your alma mater never did, presented by Fidelity. To celebrate, jewelry mogul Kendra Scott joined our co-founders and co-CEOs Carly Zakin & Danielle Weisberg for a special live taping of our podcast, "Skimm'd from the Couch." Listen in to hear how Kendra turned her biggest failures into her greatest successes. Plus, her relationship with money and advice on how to pitch yourself.

Skimm Reads

"Ariadne" by Jennifer Saint

We partnered with our friends at Book of the Month for this week's rec.

"Circe" and "A Thousand Ships" fans, this debut's for you. The latest Greek myth remix puts the women that were sidelined in the OG Theseus and the Minotaur (psst...that's Ariadne and her younger sister, Phaedra) in the spotlight. The descriptions are so vivid you'll feel like you're in it, too. But bring tissues. The Greeks love a tragedy, after all.

Join Book of the Month now to get a hardcover copy for only $9.99. And then pick from five curated new reads every month. They'll send your choices right to your door. Get started.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life...

1. How to take extraordinary care of your clothes. Because warm weather = breezy silks, synthetic fabrics, and polyester blends. The Laundress's Delicate Wash leaves your 'dry clean only' items looking new and smelling like a garden – sans dry cleaning. PS: Skimm'rs get 25% off.*

2. Home security from the experts. SimpliSafe has over a decade of experience. And more than 3 million customers. So you could say they know what they're doing. Which is protecting you, your stuff, and the place you live. Sigh of relief sold separately.*

3. 17 pet products you'll wish you bought sooner. From things that'll improve their diet, to items that'll help 'em get their daily exercise and enrichment. Move over, Eliza Thornberry.

4. Incredibly useful products that'll organize your kitchen. Like a rack for all those storage container lids, a shelf for your spices, and a tiered tray that'll stack cutlery. Before and after pics, comin' right up.

5. Our favorite finds from AAPI-founded brands. Show your support during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (and beyond). Psst…some give back too.

PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Thursday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Team lead...Joan S (NY). She mobilized 35 volunteers as part of the Ossining Vaccine Angels to help seniors get COVID-19 vaccine appointments. And has helped 300 people to get their shots.

Changing the conversation...Dara W (OR). She's part of PERIOD, a nonprofit whose mission is to end period poverty and stigma through education and advocacy. It also serves communities by providing free menstrual products to those in need. They're celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28. Help them out.

(Some) Birthdays...Brooksie Voss (CA), Michele Aprati (IL), Tyler Aprati (IL), Donna Golkin (NY), Lisa Wong (NJ), Bella Stachowski (NH), Katie Stamm (MD), Katie Ferguson (CO), Amy Dethloff (WI), Cindy Malin (IL), Katie Million (MN), Kenya Dames (CAN), Hannah Kimmel (RI), Katie Krikawa (CO), Susan Smith (IL)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm More

Hundreds of Skimm'rs told us they're constantly glued to their screen. So this week on "Skimm This," we spoke to science journalist Wendy Zuckerman about how the pandemic has impacted screen time habits. Plus, whether or not blue light is really bad for your eyes.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our career podcast "Skimm'd from the Couch" for tips to build your resume.

  • Subscribe to our "Skimm Money" newsletter to keep up to date with your wallet.

  • Sign up for our "Skimm Your Life" newsletter for curated shopping, reads, and entertainment recs.

  • Follow us on the gram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

  • Download our app to get it all in one place.

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, and Clem Robineau.