Vaccinated Americans Celebrate 1st Big Holiday Safely Without a Mask. But for some, getting back to normal isn’t that easy
For the first time in more than a year, millions of Americans are gathering for an important vacation without masks or physical distance – in complete safety.
But the majority of Americans are still not fully vaccinated, leading to the possibility of another peak in Covid-19 infections after the holidays.
“To people who travel and people who are fully vaccinated, have a good time,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University.
“But for people who haven’t been vaccinated, you can still get this virus and you can still die. We still have about 500 deaths per day. ”
While most of the deaths are in the elderly and people with pre-existing illnesses, Covid-19 has killed more children than the flu this year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Other unvaccinated young people suffer from Covid Long or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) – a rare but potentially serious disease that can develop in children weeks after coronavirus infection.
So while fully vaccinated Americans enjoy holiday barbecues and closed gatherings without masks, others are pressured – or struggle to adjust to normalcy.
Getting back to normal is not so easy for some
As Americans remember the military personnel who died serving their country, this Memorial Day can be especially difficult for those struggling to resume normal lives.
“Covid has really changed our lives,” said clinical psychologist Dr Jeff Gardere.
“ Whether it was someone they know who has Covid or someone they know who has died, or friends who have talked about it or just seeing it in the media, all of these things have caused everything the world some kind of trauma, ” he said.
“We had put ourselves in a very safe bubble.” But now, he said, some people “suffer from anxiety.”
But vacationers like KerryAnn McGregor have said the renewed freedom is welcome.
“ It’s a whole year to stay indoors, and now you come outside, everyone is biking, jogging, exercising, partying, ” said McGregor, who was visiting Miami Beach this weekend. ‘It’s good now.’
Another air travel record set to break today
At U.S. airports, Monday was set to be the busiest day in the entire pandemic – capping a record-breaking holiday travel weekend as more than 40% of Americans have been fully immunized.
The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 7 million people from Thursday to Sunday. The TSA screened 1.96 million people on Friday.
And travel industry experts say this summer will likely be busy. United Airlines said on Monday that June through August bookings were more than double the number last year.
For those not vaccinated, variants ‘can wreak havoc’
Generally healthy people who have been fully vaccinated “should feel very well protected,” said Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst and emergency room worker.
But for those who have not been vaccinated, the risk of becoming infected during large gatherings remains high. “We have more heritable variants, and unfortunately people who don’t have immunity are not protected against these variants which can wreak a lot of havoc,” Wen said.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said “ too many people are coming ” to his quaint coastal town.
“The virus is still there,” he says. “The number of people coming here is unprecedented.”
Pandemic is certainly not over, says WHO director
Don’t be fooled by holiday barbecues, parties and reopened cinemas.
There is still a lot of work to be done to end the Covid-19 pandemic, and any country that thinks the danger has passed is wrong, the director general of the World Health Organization said, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“We are very encouraged that cases and deaths continue to drop around the world, but it would be a monumental mistake for any country to think the danger is over,” he said.
“One day – hopefully soon – the pandemic will be behind us. But the psychological scars will remain for those who have lost loved ones, health workers who have passed the breaking point. and the millions of people of all ages who face months of loneliness and isolation ”.
But for those who are fully vaccinated, the loneliness and isolation disappears. And in some popular Memorial Day destinations, those who still need a free shot could easily get one.
New Jersey has launched a new program called “Shots at the Shore,” where adults have the option of getting Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines on beaches or boardwalks.
Vaccination sites have been set up in Pier Village, Sandy Hook, Long Branch and Asbury Park until 3 p.m. on Remembrance Day, Governor Phil Murphy said. Children 12 years of age and older can receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
New York, another popular destination, sends vaccination buses to beaches and parks.
Mobile vaccination sites will be set up in Brighton Beach, the Rockaways, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park and Governors Island, among others, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“You’re going to be seeing our vaccine buses all over New York City for the next few days,” he said.
“Come on, get the shot, go to the beach. Really simple.