Despite how easily accessible COVID-19 vaccines are in the U.S., millions of Americans refuse to act in the interest of public health and get vaccinated. Not only does this place the lives of these individuals at risk, it ensures that the pandemic will rage on into the foreseeable future. Case in point: the Delta variant. This variant of the novel coronavirus is deadlier and more infectious than standard COVID-19 and currently accounts for the bulk of new infections in the U.S. To help ensure that you and the people in your life remain safe from the Delta variant – as well as various other variants – take care to avoid the following blunders.
Not Being Vaccinated
Unless you suffer from a vaccine-prohibiting medical condition, there’s no reason for you to be walking around unvaccinated. When it comes to COVID-19 vaccination, the U.S. is currently the envy of the world. In few other countries are vaccines as readily accessible – especially in so many varieties. Despite this, a frustrating number of Americans have shrugged off the vaccine for reasons that run the gamut from ignorance to selfishness. By refusing to get vaccinated, you’re not only placing your own health (and indeed, your very life) at risk, you’re also making the people around you less safe and actively endangering public health.
You’re likely to hear a lot of vaccine-deniers make the case that the various COVID-19 vaccines aren’t impenetrable shields against the novel coronavirus. However, this argument completely misses the point. No vaccine is flawless, and breakthrough cases are bound to occur with any virus. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are doing a stellar job of fulfilling their intended purpose – preventing serious and fatal infections. In fact, as of July 2021, unvaccinated individuals account for over 99% of COVID-19 deaths.
Not Wearing a Mask
At the beginning of summer, many states and businesses started loosening their masking rules, and by this point, a fair number of mask mandates have been done away with altogether. The original intent of relaxing these rules was to encourage people to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, the honor system has failed us this time around. Millions of unvaccinated Americans were more than happy to remove their masks despite not being vaccinated. As a result of such dangerous behavior, the Delta variant is spreading like wildfire and many areas are experiencing their biggest infection surges since the start of the pandemic.
So, regardless of whether the state in which you reside and/or the businesses you frequent currently have masking rules in effect, take care to wear a mask whenever you venture out into public. This will help prevent you from potentially passing virus particles to others and breathing in virus particles being shed by others. After masking up for over 18 months, wanting to put your masks away is perfectly understandable. However, thanks to the perpetual recklessness of vaccine-deniers, now is absolutely not the time to stop wearing masks.
Additionally, if you wish to avoid crowds altogether, consider tackling errands remotely. For example, if you’re looking for medical advice, try reaching out to a knowledgeable online doctor.
Buying into Misinformation
Throughout every leg of this difficult journey, misinformation has been a huge problem. Since agenda-driven politicians, media outlets and pundits have spent more than a year convincing a sizable chunk of the country that COVID-19 was an elaborate hoax and that vaccines are dangerous, there’s little wonder to as to why millions are people are walking around unvaxxed and unmasked. That being the case, you should make an effort to actively avoid misinformation, whether it’s coming from your television screen, social media feed or even a loved one. Instead, take your cues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the age of COVID-19, caution is the name of the game. Although the easy accessibility of vaccines should have heralded a true return to normalcy, too many Americans remain unvaccinated for this dream to become reality. Given how many people are refusing a life-saving vaccine, there’s little wonder as to why new variants are emerging and prolonging the pandemic. So, even if you’re fully vaccinated, take care to watch out for delta and avoid making the mistakes discussed above.