We should not ease up on COVID-19 restrictions

Since Pfizer and BioNTech’s breakthrough with the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine was made public to Americans in January 2021. As a result of these events, some have begun to ease up on the COVID-19 regulations put in at the start of the pandemic.

Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, Americans have been encouraged to follow precautionary measures like wearing masks, staying six feet apart, and avoiding large crowds. However, many people have been choosing not to fully follow these restrictions; we see it all the time on the media and in-person with people not wearing their masks properly, crowding in close spaces, and not seeming to care about COVID-19 in general. Not to mention, with the release of the vaccine, people have been laying back on the COVID-19 restrictions.  

But should Americans be easing up on these restrictions just because a vaccine was created?

The vaccine becoming public doesn’t mean we should ignore the regulations to fight against the pandemic, but rather enforce it.

COVID-19 is still spreading with over 9 million active cases in the US alone. Furthermore, just because the vaccine is public, that does not mean everyone has taken the vaccine as essential workers, elderly people, and people with underlying health conditions take priority. Meaning it will take some time before everyone in America will be able to get vaccinated and protected against the virus.

In what may be seen as a scientific miracle, the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines hold a 95% effectiveness on the virus, currently is better than the flu vaccine, which has become something many people take regularly. Sadly, that 95% is not 100%, still leaving some vulnerability to COVID-19. When it comes to getting the vaccine, the issue is messaging – people have to trust the vaccine in order to receive it and there has been confusion as to if someone should take it or not.

Additionally, more reason to practice the regulations is that more variants of COVID-19 are appearing across the world and have already made their way to the US. These variants spread easily and quicker than the original strand and could cause an increase in more serious conditions. With all the different variants appearing, relaxing the regulations against COVID-19 at a time like this would be unwise and unsafe for the people who aren’t vaccinated. 

Even if you have the vaccine, you could still pass it on asymptomatically. Due to COVID-19 being a respiratory disease, there is always a chance of it staying in people’s nose or throat without experiencing symptoms even after the vaccine. As more research is being done, the best way to protect against transmitting COVID-19 to surrounding people is to continue practicing the COVID-19 restrictions until more people are vaccinated.

Although getting back to normal would be a pleasure, keeping everyone safe against the virus should become a priority even after vaccination. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is here to stay and while it may take time to get everyone vaccinated, we must continue to practice COVID-19 restrictions if we want to keep everyone safe and return to normal again.

As the vaccine continues to rapidly be distributed to the public, this doesn’t give people an excuse to ease up on the COVID-19 regulations. With COVID-19 still spreading, new variants still appearing, and the disease being spread even after vaccination, the most we can do now is to mask up and continue to practice social distancing.


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