The Pandemic is Not Over Yet

The Pandemic is Not Over Yet

Photographs courtesy of khn.org

One of the greatest successes in the recent onslaught of trauma from the coronavirus pandemic is, without a doubt, the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. With individuals 16 and above now having access to the two-series vaccine shot, the U.S population finally has the opportunity to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect the general population. This should be a great milestone, with nothing but promise ahead of us. And it would be, if many individuals weren’t becoming too comfortable with the situation as it is.

Despite the widespread knowledge of the regulations at this point, a new issue has arisen – the general public is too comfortable now that the vaccine has been widely distributed. That is to say, the knowledge that many people are getting vaccinated has made it so that many others have decided that the recommended preventative measures are no longer necessary. This can mean deciding not to wear masks or washing hands less frequently. The perception others have had is that, since other individuals are vaccinating, the need for them to wear their mask in public spaces is reduced. This leads to individuals finding little wrong with wearing their mask wrong, or not at all.

This is especially dangerous when you consider the fact that people who get vaccinated can still contract the coronavirus, so the spread isn’t lessened nearly as much as it should be. People who are vaccinated can pass the virus to people who are yet to be vaccinated, potentially leading to unnecessary deaths at the hand of ignorance. We cannot afford to forget just how much is at stake, should people refuse to uphold the preventative measures. It’s not enough to just get vaccinated, and now is not the time to get too comfortable. This means that, when going into public areas, everyone needs to be just as cautious as if there was no vaccine for the coronavirus. As much as we all would like to go back to the way things were before the pandemic, it will be a long time before things can feel normal and safe again. Even when the spread is slowed, it is important to adjust to the new “normal” we will be walking into as a country. It is also important to note that this pandemic has changed expectations of the way society should function. Until then, it is most important that we look out for each other and stay mindful of reducing the spread.