Viewpoints: Pros, Cons Of Getting Americans Vaccinated First, Rolling Back Restrictions
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and others.
The U.S. Has The Power To Tamp Down Coronavirus Variants — If We’re Willing To Use It
The United States is in a race against the coronavirus, trying to vaccinate a critical mass of the population against Covid-19 before new variants take hold. That might suggest that the Biden administration should double down on vaccinating U.S. residents and not worry about the pace of vaccination elsewhere in the world. In fact, the opposite is true: Unless we speed up global vaccination, the U.S. will be at risk. The emergence of new variants that could evade vaccine protection risks a prolonged pandemic here as well as elsewhere, because uncontrolled spread anywhere in the world allows the virus more opportunity to mutate and more dangerous variants to emerge and spread. The only way to reduce the risk of vaccine-escape mutations here is to increase vaccination and control measures everywhere. (Tom Frieden and Marine Buissonniere, 3/2)
Biden Must Balance The Horror Of Covid With The Hope To Come
It may not feel like it right now after a horrific winter, but America has never experienced a moment this hopeful since the pandemic began. The tantalizing promise borne by the quickening rollout of new vaccines, however, is tempered by warnings from President Joe Biden's team that a new cycle of sickness, death and isolation may loom if the country tries to grab its freedom too fast. (Stephen Collinson, 3/2)
New York Post:
Hypocritical COVID Politicians Want Lockdown For You, But Not Them
Forever pandemic for thee but not for me? Over the weekend, footage surfaced of Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, taking his daughter to pre-school. What should be an innocuous happening is actually monumental since Meyer has blocked a return to school for the other children of Berkeley arguing that school is “unsafe.” Meyer responded to the video saying “I have my two-year-old in preschool. Unfortunately, there are not public schools for kids her age.” If there were public schools for two year olds, she would be home and not in school specifically because of people like her father. (Karol Markowicz, 3/1)
The Post And Courier:
McMaster Jumped The Gun Again On Dropping SC COVID-19 Restrictions
On Friday, we got a double-dose of warning from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who cautioned against the temptation to ease off on public health precautions, because the nation remains “at that very precarious position that we were right before the fall surge — where anything that could perturb that could give us another surge.” Unfortunately, the other thing that happened Friday was that S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster did precisely what Drs. Walensky and Fauci warned against, once again jumping the gun and easing up on his meager restrictions as we start to head in the right direction, but long before we’re in a safe place. South Carolina, after all, was still reporting the second highest number of new infections per 100,000 people in the country last week. (3/1)
Los Angeles Times:
California's Deal On School Reopening Won't Speed Things
Before anyone gets too excited about schools supposedly reopening on April 1, that’s unlikely to happen in much of California under the terms of the deal that Gov. Gavin Newsom just worked out with the Legislature. The agreement announced Monday to offer schools $2 billion in incentives to reopen at least their K-2 classrooms by April 1 is less meaningful than the governor’s recent turnaround on vaccines for teachers. The state is now setting aside a hefty share of the doses to meet the demands of teachers’ unions. (3/1)
COVID Challenge: Not All Remote Workers Want To Return To The Office
With Biden promising to distribute 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days of his administration, many employers around the country are asking the same question: When can we safely open our offices again? In our work with dozens of the top tech start-ups, we’ve found that while 10 months of working from home has been soul crushing for many, it has actually been a joy for others. For every parent resenting having to juggle the three roles of childcare, teaching, and working, there is another who has loved the “quality time” with their kids. For every employee living alone who is depressed from the isolation and misses his colleagues, there is another who has enjoyed learning new skills during her alone time. (Edward Sullivan and John Baird, 2/28)
I Got Vaccinated. What Now?
The United States Covid-19 vaccination program is gaining steam. As of Tuesday, more than 40 million people have received the first dose, representing about 13% of the country. At the same time, national rates of new infection have decreased, presenting a real opportunity to control the pandemic. (Kent Sepkowitz, 2/23)
With Vaccine Comes Relief And A Stab Of Guilt
After several days of wrestling with the state’s COVID-19 vaccination website, I scored an appointment — at a Walgreen’s in Chelsea. With the jab came relief and a stab of guilt. Chelsea, a densely populated city that’s home to many poor and working-class Latinos, has been hit hard by COVID-19. While it just fell out of the red zone, it still has a high caseload compared with other Massachusetts locales. Getting a shot there turned me into a poster child for all the inequities baked into the system set up under Governor Charlie Baker. I had time, Internet access, and two family members who also entered and reentered the required information in the state’s frustrating website. (Joan Vennochi , 3/1)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Why Should Anyone Have To Endure A 2½-Hour Journey To Get The Vaccine?
I was very grateful to have received my first coronavirus vaccine on Feb. 23 and give thanks to all the people along the supply chain who made it possible. But I am trying to understand why I needed to drive 153 miles to near the Iowa border to get it. The fact is that there are very few vaccines available in the populated parts of Missouri (such as St. Louis) and seemingly large quantities in the rural areas. It’s not as if I didn’t try to obtain a vaccine in St. Louis. I’m of an age to qualify under Phase 1B — Tier 2, which includes anyone 65 and older, and adults with cancer, heart conditions and so on. I’d registered for a vaccination with all the hospitals here, which is home to some of America’s finest health care facilities. And we St. Louisans have a perfect mass vaccination facility in the shape of the convention center of half-a-million square feet. Parking up the wazoo. (Nigel Holloway, 3/1)