Welcome to the light ladies and gentlemen. It seems we are finally breaking out of this cage that is the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all been stuck inside and restricted for over a year now. It sounds very satisfying to just take those masks, throw them in the fire and happily watch them burn. But before you strike that match, we have some things for you to think about. Here are some reasons for delaying your mask bonfire and to continue your faithful mask wearing for just while longer…
The Covid-19 vaccine is here and is slowly becoming available world-wide, however, it has been widely broadcasted that there are still many people that are not vaccinated. This means the vaccinated people can become asymptomatic super spreaders. Until higher numbers of people are vaccinated, masks will be important to stop the spread for those that are not vaccinated. Plus, just because a person has received the shot/shots does not mean that they are immune to Covid-19 the second that needle leaves their arm. For all three approved vaccines, it is not until 2 weeks after your full dosage that you would be considered fully vaccinated. It is recommended that even after being vaccinated mask wearing is enforced.
Recovering from Covid-19 throughout the world will not be a quick and easy thing. The Cleveland Clinic explains, “In comparison, the measles vaccine is 97% effective after two doses. The vaccination program began in the U.S. in 1963, but the disease was not considered eliminated until 2000 (Cleveland Clinic, 2021)!” Yes, technology and innovation in science and medicine has come a long way since 1963, but that does not mean we will reach heard immunity as quickly as the end of 2021 or even 2022. The fight will continue for an unknown number of years.
Also keep in mind that there will remain those that cannot get the vaccine for one reason or another. People chronic medical conditions were not included in the testing of the vaccines and it is not clear what effect it would have on them.
People with HIV and those with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. They may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware of the limited safety data:
- Information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who have weakened immune systems in this group is not yet available
- People living with HIV were included in clinical trials, though safety data specific to this group are not yet available at this time
People with weakened immune systems should also be aware of the potential for reduced immune responses to the vaccine, as well as the need to continue following current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 (CDC, 2021).
It has also been recommended for anyone that is allergic the any ingredients in the vaccine to not take it. This leaves these people vulnerable and relying on others to continue to wear masks and be devoted to their efforts to control the spread.
Let us not forget that right now the doses are not available to everyone yet. Yes, the time is on the horizon, but for now we need to remain vigilant in our mask wearing and controlling the spread. According to Cleveland Clinic, “There are more than 330 million people in the U.S. Experts say that 50-80% of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, which could take us until the end of 2021 (2021).” So, let’s refrain from burning those masks. We’re in it for the long haul in our movie theaters, schools and gyms and everywhere that people will come closely together again.