Suddenly, things are different.
It’s not just that life is being lived for many without the mask. People are increasingly enjoying social engagements in face to face settings again. And, this is happening with considerably less risk, at least for many of us.
In a quest for normalcy, we need to remember that many still are without the protection provided by being fully vaccinated. Whether for lack of opportunity or by personal choice, more than half of the U.S. population is not fully vaccinated.
The protection of a vaccination varies by state. In Massachusetts over half are fully vaccinated, but in other states, 60% are not.
More discouraging, recent data shows that worldwide, only about 6% are fully vaccinated.
And, there are new variants of the COVID-19 virus appearing in Great Britain where they are now considering tightening restrictions.
So, this is not over.
While there is very good news about the wide availability regarding the supply of vaccine, it is discouraging that the demand for vaccinations has fallen.
I know people are exercising their rights when they elect not to be fully vaccinated. However, I think it is wrong to just shrug our shoulders and say, well it’s their choice.
Consider the diseases for which vaccinations are recommended today by the Centers for Disease Control:
Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Rubella (German Measles)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Whooping Cough (Pertussis )
Would we shrug and suggest it’s just too bad if some elect not to get vaccinated to avoid these ailments?
Imagine if we were to read that over half the population was not vaccinated against Polio.
I for one look forward to enjoying a summer different and more social than the one past. But, I also will seek to find the best ways to encourage friends to look favorably at a vaccine for COVID-19 since it has not gone away and poses well known risks.
Like the decision makers who chose to act either without knowing the facts or with a disregard for the facts, we all can know the truth around COVID-19 and the vaccines that are fighting it. We all need to make wise, fact-based decisions.
This summer, live life a lot…but, get the shot!
Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore.
Here’s more from a recent NYT report