For well over a year, the U.S. - and indeed, much of the world - have been severely impacted by the novel coronavirus. As a result of COVID-19's highly infectious nature and millions of people's inability to follow basic rules, 2021 has not marked the end of this pandemic. Although many Americans have come to regard COVID-19 as a non-threat, more U.S. citizens have died of the novel coronavirus in 2021 than in 2020. While there's no denying that many of us are suffering from pandemic fatigue, this isn't an acceptable excuse for letting your guard down. To ensure that you and the people you care about are able to stay safe, avoid making the following mistakes as COVID-19 rages on.
Returning to Unsafe Workplaces
While some businesses are requiring employees to get vaccinated, a disturbing number of them have opted not to. Although this is purportedly done in the interest of freedom of choice, your bosses and coworkers choosing to walk around unvaccinated amidst an active pandemic should not infringe upon your right to work in a safe environment. As such, if your place of business isn't making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, request that you be allowed to work remotely, especially if you suffer from compromised immunity or live with someone who does.
It's easy to understand why many members of the workforce would be hesitant to make this request. After all, since we exist in a "work or die" society, many of us are often hesitant to speak up for ourselves if we feel it might jeopardize our employment status in any way. Still, there's a limit to how much you should put up with from any job - and no worker should be forced to deal with potential exposure to highly contagious virus particles. So, if your place of businesses refuses your request to work remotely but won't require employee vaccinations, consider exploring your legal options.
Needlessly Going to Crowded Locales
Since many stores and businesses have stopped enforcing masking rules, there's no telling which individuals you encounter in public have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, many people who have no intention of getting vaccinated have zero qualms about taking bad faith advantage of honor system-based mask policies. For this reason, you'd do well to avoid crowded locales, especially if you live in a community with low vaccination rates.
Fortunately, it's never been easier to run essential errands remotely. For example, an extensive number of stores, restaurants and pharmacies are now providing patrons with contactless pickup options, thereby minimizing your risk of potential exposure. You can even seek professional medical advice from the comfort and safety of home with convenient online doctor sites like Plushcare.
Not Being Vaccinated
If you don't suffer from a medical condition that precludes you from getting vaccinated, not being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the biggest mistake you can make at the present time. Not only are vaccines readily available in the U.S., they're also being administered free of charge. So, if lack of access or exorbitant cost have held you back, they needn't do so any longer. Furthermore, while you may experience side-effects, they will more than likely be fairly minor and shouldn't last more than a few days. If nothing else, these side-effects are infinitely preferable to dealing with an active COVID infection.
In addition to getting vaccinated, take care to keep up with vaccine boosters, as it's looking increasingly likely that all of us are going to need them at some point. Additionally, your decision to get vaccinated stands to save not just your life, but the lives of others. For example, if you have any friends or family members who are on the fence about getting vaccinated, seeing you go through with it may help encourage them to do the right thing.
In a perfect world, the pandemic created by the novel coronavirus would be on its way out. However, thanks to a sizable minority of U.S. citizens, COVID-19 continues to pose an active threat to all Americans. While those of us acting in the best interest of public health may be powerless to change the minds of those who aren't, we can at least take measures to keep ourselves and those around us safe until this dark period is finally behind us.
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