As Cases of the Virus Increase, Another Contagion Spreads Among Those Vaccinated:


As coronavirus cases resurface across the country, many vaccinated Americans are losing patience with vaccine holdups that neglect their civic duty or cling to conspiracy theories and misinformation, even as new patients arrive in emergency rooms and the nation renews mask recommendations.

The country seemed to be coming out of the pandemic; but a month ago, a sense of celebration was palpable. Many vaccinated people now fear for their unvaccinated children and are concerned that they are also at risk for new infections. Rising case rates are upsetting plans to reopen schools and businesses and threaten another wave of infections that could overwhelm hospitals in many communities.

“It’s like the sun came up in the morning and everybody’s arguing about it,” said Jim Taylor, 66, a retired civil servant in Baton Rouge, La., a state where less than half of adults are fully vaccinated.

“The virus is here and it’s killing people, and we have a time-tested way to stop it – and we’re not going to do it. It’s a disgrace.”

Increased sensitivity contributes to supporting more compelling measures. Scientists, business leaders, and government officials — if not by the federal government — are calling for vaccine orders by local jurisdictions, schools, employers, and businesses.

Portland, Ore. “I got more and more frustrated as time went on,” says Doug Robertson, a 39-year-old teacher who lives abroad, and has three children too young to be vaccinated, including a toddler with a serious health condition.

“There is now a vaccine and a light at the end of the tunnel, and some people choose not to walk towards it,” he said. “By making this choice, you are making it darker for my family and others like me.”

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Ordered all municipal workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 until schools reopen in mid-September or face weekly exams. authorities in California followed the case hours later with a similar task It covers all government employees and health workers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday requested that 115,000 onsite health workers, the first federal agency to issue a mission order, be vaccinated within the next two months. About 60 major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, on Monday called for mandatory vaccination of all health workers..

“It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated, not the ordinary people,” said Kay Ivey, a frustrated Alabama Republican. told reporters last week. “Unvaccinated people who let us down.”

There is little doubt that the United States has reached a turning point. According to a database provided by The New York Times, 57 percent of Americans age 12 and older are fully vaccinated. Eligible Americans take an average of 537,000 doses a day, which is an 84 percent drop from the 3.38 million peak at the beginning of April.

Infections are on the rise as a result of delayed vaccination and lifted restrictions. On Sunday, the country was seeing 52,000 new cases per day, an average of 170 percent over the previous two weeks. Hospitalization and death rates are also increasing, though not rapidly.

Communities from San Francisco to Austin, Texas are recommending that vaccinated people re-wear masks in public indoors. Los Angeles and St. Louis, Mo. counties ordered closed masks, citing the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.

The future is starting to look grim for many Americans who were vaccinated months ago. Frustration strains relationships, even in close-knit families.

Josh Perldeiner, 36, a Connecticut public defender and a 2-year-old son, had all of his vaccinations up to mid-May. However, a close relative who visited frequently refused to have the injection, even though he and other family members insisted on it.

He recently tested positive for the virus after traveling to Florida, where hospitals are flooded with Covid-19 patients. Now Mr. Perldeiner worries that his son, who is too young to be vaccinated, may have been exposed to the virus.

“It goes beyond putting us at risk,” he said. Privileged people refuse to vaccinate, and this is affecting our economy and continuing the cycle.” “I feel like we’re on the same abyss as a year ago, people don’t care if more people die,” he added, as infections escalate.

Hospitals have become a particular flash point. Vaccination is optional in most settings and not required for caregivers in most hospitals and nursing homes. Many major hospital chains are just beginning to require their employees to be vaccinated.

Aimee McLean, a nurse case manager at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, worries about catching the virus from a patient and unintentionally passing it on to her father, who has severe chronic lung disease, despite her full vaccinations. Less than half of Utah’s population is fully vaccinated.

“I feel like a good percentage of the population honestly doesn’t care about us as healthcare professionals, no matter how much we don’t get to that number,” said Ms. McLean, 46.

He suggested that health insurers tie the coverage of their hospital bills to immunization. “If you choose not to be part of the solution, you must be responsible for the consequences,” he said.

Many schools and universities will resume in-person classes as early as next month. As the number of infections increased, the tension between the vaccinated and unvaccinated increased in these settings as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for K-12 schools to reopen are based on community virus transmission rates. These rates are increasing in communities where vaccination has been delayed, and vaccinated parents should be concerned again about outbreaks in schools. Vaccines are not yet approved for children younger than 12 years old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children wear masks in class when schools reopen. On Friday, school districts from Chicago to Washington began enacting the guidelines.

Universities, on the other hand, may often require students and staff to be vaccinated. But most vaccinates did not disappoint.

“If we respect the rights and freedoms of the unvaccinated, what happens to the rights and freedoms of the vaccinated?” Elif Akçalı, 49, who teaches engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said: The university does not want students to be vaccinated and is worried about exposure to the virus with increasing rates in Florida.

Some even wonder how much sympathy they should have for citizens who do not act in their own self-interest. “I feel like if you chose not to get vaccinated and you get sick now, that’s kind of bad for you,” said Lia Hockett, 21, director of Thunderbolt Spiritual Books in Santa Monica, California.

When the virus starts to spread again, some vaccinated people believe the federal government should start using sticks instead of carrots like lottery tickets.

Carol Meyer, 65, of Ulster County, NY, suggested withholding incentive payments or tax credits from those who refuse the vaccine. “I feel like we have a social contract with our neighbors in this country, and people who choose to be vaccinated or not are breaking that,” Ms Meyer said.

Bill Alstrom, 74, a retired innkeeper in Acton, Mass., said he would not support measures that would directly affect individual families and children, but asked whether federal government funds should be cut from states that do not meet immunization targets.

Maybe the federal government should require employees and contractors to be vaccinated, he thought. Why shouldn’t federal funding be withheld from states that do not meet vaccination targets?

Although often viewed as a conservative phenomenon, vaccine hesitancy and rejection occurs across the political and cultural spectrum in the United States and for a variety of reasons. A single argument cannot address all these concerns, and changing ideas is often a slow, individualized process.

Pastor Shon Neyland, who begs members of his Portland, Ore. church to receive regular Covid-19 vaccinations, estimates that only half of Highland Christian Center church members are vaccinated. Tensions arose within the congregation regarding vaccination.

“It’s disappointing because I tried to help them see that their lives were in danger and that this was a serious threat to humanity,” he said.

Shareese Harris, 26, who works at the office of Grace Cathedral International in Uniondale, NY, has not been vaccinated and is “taking my time.” He worries that vaccines may have long-term side effects and are on the market right away.

“I shouldn’t be judged or forced to make a decision,” said Ms Harris. “Society will have to wait for us.”

Rising resentment among the vaccinated could lead to public support for more compelling requirements, including powers, but experts warn that punitive measures and social exclusion could backfire, stalling dialogue and outreach efforts.

For example, elected officials in several Los Angeles County communities are already refusing to enforce the county’s new mask mandate.

“Anything that reduces the opportunity for honest dialogue and the opportunity for persuasion is not a good thing,” said Stephen Thomas, professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. “We’re already in isolated, silent information systems where people are in their own echo chambers.”

Gentle persuasion and persistent encouragement convinced Dorrett Denton, a 62-year-old home health aide in Queens, to get vaccinated in February. Her employer encouraged Ms. Denton to get vaccinated several times, but it was her doctor who finally convinced her.

“She says to me: ‘You’ve been coming to me since 1999. How many times have I operated on you and your life was in my hands? You trust me with your life, don’t you?’” Miss Denton remembered.

“Yes, doctor,” I said. He said, ‘Well, trust me on this one.

Giulia Heyward contributed news from Miami, Sophie Kasakove from New York, and Livia Albeck-Ripka from Los Angeles.


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