The transition to endemic COVID-19 is also a psychological one. When everyone has some immunity, a COVID-19 diagnosis becomes as routine as diagnosis of strep or flunot good news, but not a reason for particular fear or worry or embarrassment either. That means unlearning a year of messaging that said COVID-19 was not just a flu. If the confusion around the CDC dropping mask recommendations for the vaccinated earlier this summer is any indication, this transition to endemicity might be psychologically rocky. Reopening felt too fast for some, too slow for others.
Given that there’s no real way to eradicate the virus, it will become endemic. That said, with the emergence of the easily-transmitted Delta variant, it seems objectively bad to reopen to the extent that is currently happening. Many numbers are worse than the same time last year, despite vaccines being available. I truly hope that the FDA approval and mandates improve things, but thus far, they haven’t. Most of what I read online seems to express frustration at the too-large segment of the population that simply refuses to vaccinate. While that’s certainly something to focus on, it feels like the entire country has forgotten about people that are ineligible for the vaccine, such as children less than 12 years old. That combined with easily being able to be infected with Delta even while vaccinated is a problem for any parent. The vaccine will be available to children eventually, but right now, it seems like everyone has forgotten that it’s simply not available.