Viewpoints: Why Russian Vaccination Numbers Are Low; How Worried Should US Be About Delta Variant?
Opinion writers weigh in on covid, masks and vaccine issues.
Russia Covid Cases: Russians Don't Want Their Sputnik Vaccine
Before thousands descended on St. Petersburg for Russia’s annual economic forum this month, the local governor boasted to radio listeners that no one had held a similar-scale event since the pandemic struck. A few days later, President Vladimir Putin told the audience that his country was in a better virus position than most and would quickly open to vaccine tourists. The triumphalism proved premature. Russia has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks, with numbers at the highest in months and the added threat of troublesome new variants. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin declared an extended holiday to curb what he called an “explosive” growth in infections, and on Wednesday went further, ordering the city’s service-sector and municipal employees to get vaccinated. The Kremlin has said for months that there are no plans for compulsory jabs. (Clara Ferreira Marques, 6/17)
The Washington Post:
The Delta Variant Is A Rising Threat In The U.S. We Have To Redouble Vaccination Efforts.
As we head into summer, the covid-19 pandemic in the United States looks increasingly different depending on where you are. But for those not fully vaccinated, it is becoming increasingly dangerous almost everywhere. So far, 17 states and the District have reached President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults with at least one shot, which is building in those states an effective firewall against large outbreaks in the fall and winter. Vermont recently reported that 80 percent of its population has at least one shot, making it the first state in the union to possibly achieve herd immunity. (Ashish K. Jha, 6/16)
COVID-19 Is Spiking In Haiti. Can We Trust The Numbers?
Haiti has all the factors for a COVID-19 perfect storm: high population density, poor or non-existent health services and scant public participation in social distancing or wearing masks. Worse, the country has yet to administer a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine currently available. As Haiti grapples with a new infection spike that is proportionally large for its pandemic numbers to date, the need for reliable figures takes on a new urgency for Haiti's COVID-19 preparedness. (William Fleeson, 6/16)
The CT Mirror:
Why Are We Frightened To Take Off Our Masks?
One day in May the CDC had decided that it was safe for fully vaccinated individuals to remove their masks in public. For many this was a joyous occasion. For some, however, this historic moment appears to come with much confusion, hesitation and fear. In my practice, many of my fully vaccinated patients still exhibit social hesitancy and find it difficult to take off their masks. The latest research, from the American Psychological Association, suggests my patients are not alone. According to the APA, nearly half of all Americans still feel uneasy about in-person interactions, and expect to exhibit social cautiousness even after the pandemic is declared over. (Martin Klein, 6/17)
Los Angeles Times:
It's OK To Keep Your Mask On Even When You Don't Have To
Californians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear a face covering in most settings now that the state has lifted pandemic restrictions. Those who have yet to get a jab are not so lucky, though scofflaws probably won’t be tracked down and punished. But that doesn’t mean that all vaccinated people will choose to expose their faces immediately for a variety of valid reasons. Some people may not be ready to go maskless because of the risk to others. The risk of infection is very low for vaccinated people, but it’s not zero and they can pass it on to others who are not yet fully inoculated. Others do so for their own safety. Vaccines may not work as well for people whose immune systems are compromised. (6/17)
The Charlotte Observer:
Christian McCaffrey, Sam Darnold Dodged Vaccine Questions
Carolina Panthers Christian McCaffrey and Sam Darnold both declined to say whether they have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine yet Wednesday, and they also wouldn’t say if they ever planned to get it. I’m not mad at them for dodging those questions. I’m just disappointed. (Scott Fowler, 6/16)
Dallas Morning News:
It’s Time For The COVID-19 Color-Coded Alert System To Fade Away
You may have heard the news this week that Dallas County lowered its COVID-19 threat level to “yellow,” just one step away from the “green” zone that would indicate a “new normal.” The yellow zone, signaling that unvaccinated people may “proceed carefully,” is the lowest threat level the county has reached since it introduced the four-level color-coded alert system a year ago. If you saw the headlines, your reaction was probably the same as ours: meh. (6/17)