March 28, 2021: Fully Vaccinated and Still Masked Up
As the country continues to move forward with its massive vaccination push, more and more of us are now finding ourselves in the fully-vaccinated column. While each state continues to have its own roll-out and tiered system of who is eligible when, the bottom line is that with an average of two millions doses being given daily, we are methodically moving toward that elusive herd immunity.
Initially, the health care workers, first responders, and extremely vulnerable were in line, then teachers, essential workers, and those over 65. Now, in Florida, anyone over 40 can get the vaccine. Some states, like Alaska, are now vaccinating anyone over age 16 who lives or works within the state.
The CDC also continues to adjust its guidelines, recommendations, and protocols, as more of the population becomes protected and we learn more about what that means. Who should continue to wear masks when? Who should and should not gather in large groups?
While we know that no vaccine is 100% effective, for many, the feeling of being fully vaccinated and having that layer of added protection, is priceless.
But the bottom line is, there are those within our communities who have not yet been vaccinated, or that cannot ever receive the vaccine. They may be too young, too sick, or allergic to the ingredients in the vaccines. That means that they are still very vulnerable.
Right now we are safer than a year ago, but have not yet reached the threshold of having this crisis behind us. I believe that how we handle this critical stage of recovery from the pandemic, will show the true content of our character.
Are we of the thinking that now that I am safe, that is all that matters? Even though I am protected, will the fact that I could possibly still pass along the virus to those not yet vaccinated, inform my decisions about masking and gathering? Or will I be so eager to return to my normal life that I chose to not think about that?
Does my desire to be free of masks outweigh the risks to our most vulnerable? Do I owe any consideration to the safety of those I may not even know? Am I willing to think of not only my personal liberties, but of the common good of my community?
Yes, these are all philosophical and ethical questions. And the answers help to illuminate what kind of a person each of us is. Because far more than our words about patriotism, or our religious platitudes, our actions now will show exactly what kind of person we are.