It’s simple, really: If you want life to return to normal, get vaccinated.
We’ve urged the lifting of restrictions such as mask mandates for the vaccinated on the subway, but lots of others are urging the opposite — including renewed indoor-masking mandates. And if the panic over the Delta variant continues, they could get their way.
The past week saw an average of 32,387 new US cases reported each day — more than double the rolling average of 10 days before, per a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
And while US hospitalizations are nowhere close to overwhelming the system, they also rose a bit — to 3,521 a day on average for July 13-19 from 2,663 for the prior seven days, up 32 percent. And deaths are edging up slightly, too, to about 250 a day — a far cry from the 4,400 a day in mid-January, but moving in the wrong direction.
New York City is better off, but its positivity rate is inching up, too, with the daily seven-day rolling average at 328 cases and a 1.27 percent positivity rate, per Monday’s figures from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Yet the mayor is responding reasonably. On Wednesday, he ordered all public-hospital staff to get jabbed or submit to weekly testing.
With nearly a third of those staffers still unvaccinated (and worse in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island), the risk of hospital outbreaks is too high. But the mayor’s compromise — who can complain about getting tested to keep patients and fellow workers safe? — wisely avoids imposing the smarter course on resisters.
Persuasion is key, since the various vax-avoiding groups have their reasons, some pretty understandable — such as illegal immigrants’ fears of coming in from the shadows.
According to a June CDC report, just 38 percent of people ages 18 to 29 have gotten at least one dose, below all older cohorts. That’s likely because they know they’re at lower risk of getting a severe case, plus youths’ general feeling of invincibility.
But it’s also why twentysomethings are making up a growing share of cases, hospitalization and even deaths. And with Delta more contagious but the nation opening up, that means more transmissions, too — and the possibility of full normalcy receding.
“These shots need to get in everybody’s arms as rapidly as possible or we´re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for — that we went through last year,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday. “This is not complicated.” He’s completely right.
All too many people want to politicize this issue. That’s a huge mistake: The vaccines developed under President Donald Trump are perfectly safe (with tiny exceptions, such as for the immune-compromised) and highly effective, even against Delta.
But the nation truly faces what President Joe Biden calls “a pandemic among the unvaccinated” if too many of us keep resisting.
The bottom line is just do it: Get vaccinated, so our city and our nation can permanently return to their full and bustling glory.