We’re now over a year and a half into the worst pandemic many of us have ever lived through. Although vaccines for the novel coronavirus are now widely available in the U.S., a truly ridiculous number of Americans refuse to take advantage of this. Unsurprisingly, many of the people refusing to get vaccinated are the same people who have refused to wear masks or take any other common sense precautions throughout every phase of this pandemic. While the rest of us may be powerless to influence the behavior of these individuals, we can control our own actions and set a good example for others. So, if you’re looking to stay safe and exhibit social responsibility during this troubled time, put the following tips to good use.
There are no two ways about it. Unless you suffer from a medical condition that makes it dangerous for you to receive vaccines, you should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine hesitancy and denial is the chief reason new variants – like Delta – continue to spread, and the sooner the overwhelming majority of us are fully vaxxed, the sooner this nightmare can finally come to an end. Not only does getting vaccinated help protect you from COVID-19 and the Delta variant, it’s the most socially responsible thing you can do during an active pandemic. Taking the time to get vaccinated shows that you care about public health and illustrates a dedication to curbing the spread of the virus. Considering how easily accessible and free vaccines are, no one can use lack of accessibility or affordability as an excuse.
It should be understood that the COVID-19 vaccines – like all vaccines – are not magical shields that prevent any and all infections. Instead, they prevent serious and fatal cases of the virus in question, and as is the case with all viruses and vaccines, breakthrough infections have been known to occur. However, if you’re fully vaccinated, the likelihood of a breakthrough infection landing you in the hospital or killing you is extremely low. As of July 2021, unvaccinated individuals account for 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., leading many people to describe the situation as “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Still, given the highly infectious nature of COVID-19 and the even more infectious nature of the Delta variant, it’s recommended that you continue wearing a mask whenever you’re at work or out in public. This can help prevent you from developing a breakthrough infection and help save the lives of unvaccinated individuals. Although many states and businesses prematurely relaxed and got rid of masking rules early in the summer, the ballooning infection numbers have facilitated the need for us to don our masks once again.
Furthermore, why not avoid crowds altogether by tackling certain errands remotely? For instance, you can get prescriptions online and take advantage of curbside grocery pickup options with ease.
Encouraging Others to Get Vaccinated
There are a variety of reasons for which people are refusing to get a vaccine that may very well save their lives. For one thing, misinformation has proven to be a hindrance to progress throughout every leg of this journey. Agenda-driven politicians, media outlets and pundits have regularly downplayed the severity of the novel coronavirus and the necessity of vaccination, masking and other essential measures. Although many of us are able to recognize these claims as blatant misinformation, others are extremely susceptible to the types of people who peddle such bad faith arguments.
While we may be powerless to control the choices made by others, we can still at least try to point them in the right direction. So, if anyone you care about is refusing to get vaccinated as a result of weaponized misinformation – or even spreading misinformation themselves – make an effort to correct their thinking. They may ultimately choose to ignore you, but you’ll at least be able to say you tried.
Although the vast majority of us would like to see this pandemic reach a swift and definitive conclusion, that doesn’t appear to be in the cards for the foreseeable future. Thanks in no small part to the reckless behavior of vaccine-deniers, the Delta variant has risen to prominence and is infecting people left and right. Anyone interested in curbing the spread and safeguarding public health would do well to take the measures discussed above.