You’re welcome. (I’ll explain and justify that remark below).
Although I’m erring well on the side of caution, (and thankfully I’m not alone), I am enjoying the relaxed COVID mandates. I went to the grocery store last week; all of the staff and the overwhelming majority of the customers were still masked. I’m fully vaccinated but I simply do not know about others. I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in about a year and we were able to stop and briefly chat. (He is fully vaccinated and was also masked.) A lady was eyeing a case of bottled water which I offered to lift into her shopping cart for her. (She was masked and grateful. I felt good for performing a random act of kindness – I suggest you try it; it will make you feel good.)
This week I intend to attend my two book club meetings in person as opposed to via Zoom. In at least one I may very well be unmasked and indoors. I know everyone in at least that group is fully vaccinated.
As my regular readers know I have followed the 14 day rolling average of new infections rather religiously for several months now. For May 15 – 22 (the days for which data is available at this writing) we have not been above 30,000 new cases. The percentage decrease has been between 26 and 39 per cent. Contrast that with the period of January 15 – 22 when the lowest number of new cases was 142,587.
What would cause a huge difference like this? The only logical conclusion is the success of the vaccination program under the Biden administration. Programs are great and leadership has definitely made a difference but all that means nothing until shots get into people’s arms. The amount of partially, and more so fully, vaccinated has to be done the biggest factor in the decline.
Eight states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont) have vaccinated (with at least one shot) over 70% of their adult population. At first glance, the regional concentration is amazing; it is basically New England with New Jersey and the addition of Hawaii. The Northeast has long been the region with the best educational systems in the country; seven of the eight states are in the Northeast. Do you think perhaps their people did a better job of critical thinking with regard to the vaccine?
Politics may have also played a role. Five of the states have both Democratic governors and state legislatures. One is in total Republican control and two have Republican governors kept in check by Democratic legislatures. With the exception of one Congressional district in Maine all six states went Democratic in the 2020 presidential election. Yes, blue states are doing a better job of getting their people vaccinated.
So, if you are enjoying the relaxed rules, you should be thanking people who have been fully vaccinated for making them possible. To your thank you we say: you’re welcome.
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