I know, we’ve got vaccines now, and over 90 million people, about 35% of the US population, have been vaccinated. The rates of infection and death have been generally declining, so people are getting cocky and dropping their guard. But it’s not over yet.
A year after becoming a global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York and New Jersey are back atop the list of U.S. states with the highest rates of infection.
Even as the vaccination campaign has ramped up, the number of new infections in New Jersey has crept up by 37% in a little more than a month, to about 23,600 every seven days. About 50,000 people per week in New York are testing positive for the virus, a number that hasn’t much changed since mid-February.
The current infection rates are higher than they were in March of last year, when we were so worried that we went into lockdown. Well, some of us, anyway — too many people ignored the warnings and we had a massive spike in December/January. I guess we’re forgetting that, too, and just getting used to the ongoing risk.
Hey, state governors: when the infections decline, that’s a sign that your current policies are working. It doesn’t mean it’s time to open up all the bars and slow dance with strangers. When you go golfing, do you stop the club the instant you hit the ball, or do you follow through? Stay the course, everyone, for at least a few months more.
Experts worry the public is getting the message that increased vaccination means the state is in the clear, even though only a fraction of the public has completed a full course. Vaccines lessen the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, but scientists are still studying how well they prevent the spread of the virus.
“To allow larger groups to gather, to give the message to the public that we’re over the worst and that we can go back to normal is a mistake,” Farber said.
Stony Brook University professor and neuroepidemiologist Sean Clouston said growth in new cases is concentrated in younger people, who can’t get vaccinated in New York unless they have specific health conditions or certain jobs. He said their infection rates could drop once they’re eligible, too.
My grandkids are not vaccinated yet, so I’m going to take it personally if you won’t act responsibly. Also, you just know there are a significant number of demented dingleberries who are going to refuse the vaccination no matter what, and they’re going to lurk among our citizenry as a reservoir of disease.