Coronavirus, Day 433 – Much Ado About Masks…

I don’t think it’s the right move to tell people that it’s ok to stop wearing masks and other COVID precautions once they’ve been vaccinated just yet.

I get that the idea is to incentivize people who haven’t been vaccinated yet to go get their shots so that they can leave their masks at home, but the cynic in me who has been stressing out about people not wearing masks around Walmart for the last month has a bad feeling that a big chunk of the people who haven’t been vaccinated yet aren’t wearing masks anymore, anyways.

The next couple of months are really going to tell us if the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers really are a large number or just a vocal minority as we watch both the new case and death rates alongside the vaccination rate here at home.

If you do the math, it looks like we’ve been averaging about 2 million shots a day over the last week, whereas we’ve seen between two and three million per day over March and April. That’s about 30 million people vaccinated per month if you assume two shots for full vaccination, although we know that about 8 million people have taken the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to date.

IF we’re to keep up that 2 million a day average for another month, that would be roughly another 30 million people vaccinated and about 25% of the way towards our goal … however it gets even more complicated when you take into account that kids make up about a quarter of our total population and nearly half of those not yet vaccinated…

Here are the numbers that I was able to pull together today:

  • Total US Population – 328 million
  • Estimate for Herd Immunity – 70-80% = 230-262 million
  • Currently Fully Vaccinated – 119 million (36%)
  • To Go for Herd Immunity – 111-143 million
  • # of Kids Under 18 – 74 million

Personally if *I* was making the rules, I’d have asked people to keep it up at least until the 4th of July … which originally I thought was President Biden’s target until yesterday … which would at least put us hopefully closer to 200 million vaccinated.

Maybe it’s because A) I don’t like being around people, so social distancing doesn’t bother me, and B) honestly masks don’t really bother me that much, either. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily wear one if there wasn’t a pandemic going on, but if you tell me that it will help to prevent the spread and in particular help people who are more vulnerable from catching this awful disease, then no argument here.

Hell, I’m high risk myself due to a chronic condition, and seeing as masks don’t as much protect us as they protect the people around us, it seems only neighborly that I wear a mask for you and you in turn wear one for me.

I know that not everybody thinks that way and some people are just plain tired of all of this, but given what’s at stake I don’t see how it makes any sense to rush it when we’re still a ways from the end. Right now we’ve slowed to about 700-800 deaths a day here in the USA, however India is seeing 4,000 a day … which is a number we experienced here only a few months ago back in January.

Earlier today I saw someone comment that it was time for those at high risk to protect themselves and the rest of us to move on with our lives, which just feels like a dirty, cruel thing to say, and for what? To avoid wearing a mask out in public and crowding each other? That attitude to me just seems selfish after 600,000 people in America and 3.3 million worldwide have died of COVID.

We’re making some good progress and the end is finally in sight – why risk it by being impatient before we’re actually in the clear? If you’ve been wearing a mask for the past year, what are a few more months at this point???

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