Although the introduction of free, readily available vaccines should have marked the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, a disturbing number of Americans failed to get the memo. While certain parts of the country have seen high vaccination rates across the board, others have failed to sufficiently mandate or incentivize COVID-19 vaccination. To make matters worse, weaponized disinformation has dissuaded millions of people from getting vaccinated, thereby prolonging and worsening the pandemic. So, if you live in a community in which a sizable chunk of the populace is unvaccinated, it’s imperative that you take measures to protect yourself.
First and foremost, if you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time to do so. Unless you suffer from a medical condition that makes vaccination a risky prospect, it is imperative that you get vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience. COVID-19 vaccines are free, readily available in every part of the U.S. and highly effective at preventing serious and fatal cases of the novel coronavirus. As is the case with most vaccines, side-effects are common, but they’re mostly minor and shouldn’t last for more than a few days. At the very least, none of the side-effects you experience are likely to be as bad as an active case of COVID-19.
In some communities, there is tremendous peer pressure to not get vaccinated. While the temptation to give in to such pressure can be very strong for certain individuals, it’s in everyone’s best interest that you act in accordance with the advice of public health experts and get vaccinated. Anyone who would chide, condemn or ostracize you for being proactive about your health – and by extension, the health of those around you – is probably a person you shouldn’t have in your life.
Actively Avoid Peer Pressure
If you live in a community with low vaccination rates, it stands to reason that many of the people you encounter will pressure you to take unnecessary risks, like attending maskless gatherings or other large events that are unsafe during an active pandemic. Not wanting to be left out is perfectly understandable, but at the end of the day, your health and well-being are more important than placating negligent friends and relatives. So, the next time you feel pressured to engage in unsafe activities, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and plainly state why you feel this is a bad idea. Again, anyone who would fault you for protecting your health probably isn’t worth associating with.
Run Errands Remotely
Since being out and about in communities with low vaccination rates isn’t exactly the safest activity, you’d do well to run certain errands remotely. With virtually every grocery store under the sun offering contactless pickup options, doing your food shopping from the comfort of home has never been easier. Many pharmacies and restaurants have also hopped aboard the contactless pickup train, thereby enabling patrons to retrieve purchases with minimal risk to their health.
You can even seek first-hand medical advice remotely. So, if you’re currently on the hunt for an online doctor, pay a visit to https://plushcare.com/online-doctor/. Additionally, many counselors, therapists and other mental health professionals have taken to offering their services remotely. So, if you need assistance with mental health care during this troubled time, you should have no trouble receiving it from the safety and comfort of home.
If your workplace is teeming with unvaccinated employees, request to be allowed to work remotely. If your job can efficiently be done remotely, there’s no good reason for the relevant parties to refuse. Just because your place of business refuses to mandate vaccines doesn’t mean you have an obligation to place your health at risk on a daily basis.
All of us want to put COVID-19 in the rearview and bid a long-overdue farewell to this pandemic. Unfortunately, doing so simply isn’t feasible at the present time. The longer millions of us are running around unvaccinated, the longer the pandemic will roll on and the more variants will pop up. While you may be powerless in changing the minds of the unvaccinated, you can at least take measures to keep yourself and those around you safe. Such measures are particularly important in areas with disturbingly low vaccination rates.