I can tell you exactly when I decided that it was time to get worried again. It was on the morning of July 23, during my sister's visit. We went to two different art supply stores that day, and in each one the employees were masked. We had not brought our masks along, but we agreed that if we had, we would be wearing them. It just seemed that caution was in the air again, at a suddenly higher level than we had detected for months.
We didn't go cold turkey; we went out to eat that night (but were happy to be seated in a corner of an uncrowded room, far from other people) but we skipped the opening reception for the show by my fiber and textile art group the next day (and were happy we did, after we heard that the small room had been packed with maskless visitors). And this week I ate inside (but was happy that we were seated right by the door, with nobody at the adjoining table). I've been wearing a mask in the few stores I've been in, and today noted that at least half of the customers in the three stores I visited were also masked.
We're feeling particularly paranoid because the four-year-old started school this week. She was supposed to go last year, but her parents held her out and now she is totally excited about this new adventure. The kids are all wearing masks, but of course they're unvaccinated, in the midst of the delta variant firestorm. Apparently it will be months before the FDA gets around to perusing the data, and waiting for additional data, and maybe even requiring some more data before the little ones can get protection.
|daily calligraphy from Monday|
Early in the pandemic we took comfort in the fact that children seemed to be less likely to contract covid, and far less likely to suffer severe illness or die. Now that has changed. As of last week, 131 children under 5 have died, and 292 between 5 and 18 have died. Yes, I want the FDA to be careful before releasing drugs whose safety and efficacy are in doubt. But there's also a risk to doing nothing. And I tend to think we're now in a situation where the risk of perhaps dropping the heavy fire extinguisher on your foot is far less than the risk of letting the building burn down.
I also have to wonder why, if it's OK for parents to flout medical advice and keep their kids unvaccinated (whether for covid or measles or any other potentially fatal disease) it isn't OK for parents to flout medical advice and give their four-year-olds a dose of covid vaccine. Are parents the ultimate authority over their children's medical treatment or aren't they? If yes, then give the shots to any child who can walk or be carried into the place with Mom or Dad. If no, then require every child between 12 and 18 to be vaccinated. But when we want to have it both ways, we lose and covid wins.