A Better Attempt At Vaccine Messaging

Tired of the relentlessly negative messaging on COVID vaccination? I'm here for you

As I’m sure you have noticed, the messaging surrounding the COVID vaccines has not been great. While the CDC has finally updated its mask recommendations to allow for fully vaccinated people to go maskless outdoors, the organization still recommends unvaccinated people to wear a mask under most circumstances. This, despite the ample amounts of data that have been collected since the beginning of the pandemic that shows outdoor transmission is rare. As for indoor and mass gatherings, the CDC is still recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks in order to, I kid you not, help prevent the spread of COVID between unvaccinated people.

To illustrate which activities are safe to perform unmasked, the CDC has produced this very unencouraging chart

Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and President Joe Biden are urging people to get the vaccine to return to normal life. Further complicating the messaging efforts are experts who say that it’s risky for fully vaccinated people to go out clubbing but making out with strangers is OK as long as they pinky swear they’ve been vaccinated and, on the other end, people who are perfectly fine with COVID lockdown living and would like to continue it indefinitely. The worst offenders are those who refuse to acknowledge that mass vaccination is doing wonders in reducing the number and severity of cases, instead insisting that vaccinated people must continue to live their lives as they did pre-vaccine until some unspecified time in the future. 

Since it seems everyone has made a hash of vaccine messaging, I thought I would step up and create a positive vaccine messaging campaign -- consider it Libertarian Vaccine Messaging.

Yes, once you are fully vaccinated you can return to normal life! That is the whole point of getting vaccinated! Once your risk of falling ill or transmitting COVID drops to below 10%, you’re good! Hooray! 

The even better news is that case counts in the US are dropping, and I expect to see a sharper drop once the effects of mass vaccination start to show on the 7-day average charts. The news out of Israel is better still -- after an aggressive vaccination campaign that has fully vaccinated over 53% of adults, the country has logged its first day of zero deaths since June 2020. COVID case counts and deaths are plummeting in the UK as well. It certainly seems that mass vaccination of adults is working in those countries, I suspect it will in the US as well. 

As for masks -- yes you can take your mask off outdoors, vaccinated or no. Indoors, I see no reason why fully vaccinated people cannot go maskless provided the business in question allows it. If you want to continue to wear a mask that is your prerogative, but there is no medical reason to do so. Do not harass anyone for their mask choice though, there will be no yelling at anyone for the choices they make about their own body. And for God’s sake, don’t call CPS on the parents of masked children.

Worried about COVID variants? So far the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are hanging tough against them, with only one variant in question. Of course, keep an eye out for any new variants that are resistant to the vaccine but for now there doesn’t seem to be much to worry over. 

If you found aspects of lockdown life more fulfilling than pre-lockdown life, fantastic! I’m glad you had this time to learn about yourself and what truly makes you happy! If you enjoy working from home, discuss with your employer if this arrangement can be made permanent or if you can reduce the number of days you have to go into the office. Enjoyed homeschooling your children? Wonderful! There are several options available to you if you wish to continue doing so, and I hope school districts leaving the door open for remote learning post-COVID is one of them. Found out you preferred staying home versus going out? That’s fine too, you don’t have to accept every social invitation that comes your way. All I ask is that this understanding is reciprocal -- the past 13 months have been very stressful and difficult for millions of people, and those people want nothing more than to return to their normal lives. 

Feeling anxious about getting back out into the world? I understand; being isolated for over a year due to a pandemic does funny things to a person. Take your time, but don’t be scared, it’s really nice out here! Spring is a lovely time to be outside, maybe start with a trip to the park? Maybe call your friends and see if they want to meet up? About those friends, yes you still need them and they need you too. 

This pandemic will be coming to an end in the US soon, no matter if you’re desperate to set your masks on fire or want nothing more than to stay inside your apartment forever. I remain hopeful that we will reach herd immunity in a matter of weeks, not months, and once that day comes we can throw open all the doors and celebrate. By framing the vaccines in a positive light, versus the near constant negative messaging surrounding them, I hope I and my fellow optimists can help more people feel comfortable joining the post-COVID party.