The CDC announced this week that vaccinated people no longer need to mask or social distance, and that’s really exciting news. But last night, as I took my two teenagers to get their vaccines and left my disappointed on-the-cusp 11-year-old at home, it struck me that this new phase of the pandemic might be scientifically accurate . . . but it’s not really fair.
The truth is, my 6- and 11-year-olds could still get sick. It’s unlikely, but possible. But with so many anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers in this part of the country, I don’t feel confident that those walking around without masks are, in fact, vaccinated.
More like this: To the moms who held it all together this year
Over the last year, I’ve been humbled as I’ve watched my children and their friends give up so much to protect their elders. They skipped sports seasons. They haven’t had sleepovers in a year. They took all their scouting programs to Zoom for months. They canceled Eagle award ceremonies and summer camps.
They did it all with sad, but willing, hearts . . . because they wanted their grandparents to stay healthy. It’s remarkable.
Last year, when the pandemic first broke out and college students were flocking to the beach unmasked because they just couldn’t give up their Spring Break, there were countless memes saying that if it was the other way around, the older generation wouldn’t hesitate to wear masks to protect kids. I question that now, when I get emails from various organizations saying, “The vaccine is available to everyone now, so we’re returning to life as normal!” It’s painfully obvious that they’re forgetting this group of humanity who went to such extraordinary lengths to protect them.
So, out of respect, you’ll see me wearing masks in public places with my kids until truly everyone can get the vaccine. It’s not that hard, and it’s the least we can do to thank them for all they gave up to protect us.