With the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the United States, life has resumed some degree of normalcy in many areas. However, while easy access to vaccines is certainly cause for celebration, it’s important to remember that an active pandemic is still playing out. Given how many Americans have yet to even get their first dose – and how many are outright refusing to get vaccinated – the novel coronavirus and its various mutations are liable to remain a threat for the foreseeable future. Although getting vaccinated should offer you a tremendous degree of protection, there are a number of other common sense measures you should continue to take.
When it comes to protecting yourself against COVID-19 and its growing number of variants, the most effective step you can take is getting vaccinated. Unless you suffer from a medical condition that precludes you from vaccination, you have absolutely no excuse to be walking around unvaccinated at this stage. In stark contrast to many other countries, the U.S. is lucky enough to have abundant supplies of three different vaccines. These vaccines are administered free of charge and available at a large number of pharmacies, medical facilities and pop-up clinics. As such, lack of affordability or accessibility won’t stand in the way of anyone who wishes to get vaccinated.
Despite the ready availability of vaccines, millions of Americans have yet to act in the interest of public health and get vaccinated. Furthermore, these very same individuals are now walking around in public without masks. In light of these factors, it should come as no surprise that a number of states are now seeing a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases. Regardless of how frightened or unfazed you are by the threat of COVID-19, getting vaccinated is the socially responsible thing to do.
Continue Masking Up
Although many states and businesses are dropping their mandatory mask policies, you have absolutely nothing to lose by continuing to mask up. Given the vaccination rates in this country, it’s a safe bet that many of the unmasked people you encounter in public are unvaccinated. Even though the country is supposed to be on the honor system when it comes to mask-wearing, many people won’t hesitate to act in bad faith if they think they can get away with it. Additionally, these unmasked, unvaccinated individuals are largely responsible for the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, as well as assorted variants. As an added bonus, wearing a mask in public can prevent you from getting other airborne viruses, like colds and the flu.
Don’t Agree to Do Things You’re Not Fully Comfortable With
Even though normalcy is starting to return to many parts of the country, you have the right to ease back into old habits and routines at your own pace. So, if friends or family members insist that you take part in an outing or social event with which you aren’t entirely comfortable, don’t be afraid of saying no. Even if people in your life accuse you of “being ruled by fear” or “afraid to live,” don’t take such hyperbolic language to heart. You’re simply doing what’s right for yourself, and given the tremendous toll this pandemic has taken on people’s mental health, you have nothing to apologize for.
Do Things Remotely
If you’re uncomfortable with returning to the office at the present time, request that you be allowed to continue working remotely. Considering how many unvaccinated people are taking ready advantage of loosening restrictions, it’s entirely that unvaccinated, unmasked individuals are roaming your workplace. Similarly, if you’re not comfortable with in-person doctor visits at the present time, consider having an online doctor visit.
Given the easy accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., it’s easy to assume that the pandemic created by the novel coronavirus is over. As much as many of us would love for this to be the case, the simple fact of the matter is that the country – and indeed, the world – still has an active pandemic on its hands. With thousands of new cases and hundreds of new COVID deaths each day, it’s important to stay vigilant and keep your guard up, particularly if you have compromised immunity. In the interest of keeping risks to a minimum, put the previously discussed tips to good use.
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