Different Takes: Problems Come With Vaccine Mandates; Should Vaccinated Re-Mask Due To Delta?
Opinion writers weigh in on covid, masks, vaccines and related health issues.
Mandating Vaccinations May Be Reasonable But May Not Be Smart
The dilemma is almost as old as vaccines: Can the state coerce citizens to get jabbed in the interests of public health? What about other institutions, such as schools, universities or employers? And if they can mandate shots, should they? Even with the more familiar vaccines against smallpox, measles, whooping cough and the like, these questions have never been answered definitively in most countries. That haunts us now that we’re fighting a coronavirus pandemic and need to make urgent decisions. (Andreas Kluth, 6/30)
The Covid Delta Variant Hints At A Bigger Problem For America
In May and June, as vaccine eligibility and access expanded in the United States, the fever pitch of Covid-19 worry in the United States started to ebb. Just like with motorcycle helmets or guns, it seemed like some people would take safety seriously, some wouldn’t care at all, and many others would fall somewhere in between. The country was reopening, and something akin to normalcy seemed to be within our grasp. But then the delta variant, and its close cousin, delta plus, were identified. As this variant has begun to dominate both the news and the genomic sequencing of new Covid-19 infections, Americans’ anxiety has proportionally increased. (Dr. Megan Ranney, 6/29)
The Washington Post:
The Delta Variant Is Bringing Back The Dark Clouds Of Last Year
The delta variant is raining on our parade. Just when many people want to celebrate a return to normalcy, confident of vaccine protection, the delta variant is bringing back the dark clouds of last year. In the United States, face masks and social distancing are being recommended anew, while around the world, lockdowns and travel bans are back in the fight against this highly-transmissible variant, a particular threat to the unvaccinated and a reminder that covid-19 will indeed be a long haul. The good news is that vaccines, the most important measure to fight the virus, are holding the line for those who have received them. Research so far suggests delta is between 40 and 60 percent more transmissible than the alpha variant first identified in the United Kingdom, which was 50 percent more transmissible than the original virus. Those without vaccines are in serious jeopardy. Hospital admissions for covid-19 around the country are largely made up of the unvaccinated. “This is a pandemic of unvaccinated people,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week. (6/29)
Face Mask Guidelines: What If The Government Got It Wrong On Masks Again?
There are more and more mixed messages on masks, even for those vaccinated against Covid-19. The World Health Organization is encouraging even the vaccinated to keep the masks on, particularly indoors, as the Delta variant of Covid-19 ricochets around the world. Compare that with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which a month ago told vaccinated Americans they could largely take the masks off, indoors and out. (Zachary B. Wolf, 6/29)
Use Caution For Those At Risk Of Myocarditis From Covid-19 Vaccines
The remarkable development and rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will be hailed as a triumph of science. The rapidity of the process, though, opens the door to questions about side effects that could not have been detected in their clinical trials. So far, unusual blood clots have been associated with administration of the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, predominantly in younger women. More recently, reports have emerged that pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart itself) have occurred, mainly in young men receiving mRNA-based vaccines. In this essay, we focus on myocarditis because, typically, it is a more serious condition than pericarditis (though severe cases of pericarditis can also be devastating). (Venkatesh L. Murthy, Vinay Prasad and Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, 6/29)
COVID: NICU Babies, Parents Used To Isolation, Quarantine
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers, I scrambled to get some into the arm of my 14-year-old son. He had recently been diagnosed with asthma. And the quarantine had been a reminder of an earlier time of isolation – one that many families endured before this pandemic, and which still must be enforced on nearly 1 in 10 babies born in America. I’ve watched, and worried, about my son's lungs since he was rushed to intensive care shortly after his birth. He had arrived with a condition known as transient tachypnea of the newborn, or TTN: rapid, shallow breathing caused by amniotic fluid in his lungs. The lungs – unlike the heart – don’t "turn on" until the first breath. In some cases, the fluid lingers after birth and clogs the alveoli, air sacks in the lungs. (David McGlynn, 6/30)
Florence Nightingale In The Age Of Covid-19
Last May marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. That her bicentennial fell during a worldwide pandemic is both illuminating and ironic. Nightingale’s experience as a nurse during the Crimean War in the mid-1850s led her to three insights that came to define her professional life, insights as revolutionary as they were unpopular: Medical care has the potential to do harm. Nurses require stringent and scientific training. Medical care does not exist in a vacuum from the world around it. (Danielle Ofri, 6/29)