The U.S. reaches universal eligibility
The United States passed a significant milestone in its vaccine rollout: As of today, all adults in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.
The states had rushed to meet the April 19 deadline set by President Biden two weeks ago, and today the final states Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont expanded eligibility.
After a slow start in December, the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. has picked up considerably in recent months. More than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot as of Sunday, and about 84.3 million people had been fully vaccinated, a third of the adult population. At its current pace, the U.S. will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June, but experts are warning Americans not to let their guards down. The virus is resurgent and the U.S. is averaging more than 67,000 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from over 54,000 a month ago.
The next phase of the rollout will bring its own challenges. Some scientists and health officials believe that making more people eligible will ultimately get more people vaccinated more swiftly. But others have said they are worried that some of the most vulnerable people, including those 65 and older, may have trouble competing for a shot. About a fifth of that group has not received even one shot.
As the vaccine supply expands, the extent of vaccine skepticism in the country will also come into focus. To combat vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration is making an intense push today, which officials have likened to a get out the vote effort that will roll out on social media and radio and television programs.
Officials are particularly concerned about a rise in vaccine hesitancy as federal health officials pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson dose while regulators examine six cases of rare blood clots among recipients. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is expected to meet on Friday and make recommendations about the vaccines use.
A year in, and we are languishing. Thats the academic term for the collective fog weve endured for more than a year trouble concentrating, trouble staying motivated, trouble getting excited about the future.
Languishing isnt burnout, which is more a lack of energy. Its not depression, with its lack of hope. Instead, its a sense of stagnation, of emptiness, of just-getting-by, a malaise that might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at Wharton, suggested we think of languishing as a midpoint between flourishing and depression.
Flourishing is the peak of well-being: You have a strong sense of meaning, mastery and mattering to others. Depression is the valley of ill-being: You feel despondent, drained and worthless, Grant writes.
Theres still more research to do, but giving the emotion a name might give us a way to move forward, Grant argues.
It could give us a socially acceptable response to How are you?
Instead of saying Great!' or Fine, imagine if we answered, Honestly, Im languishing. It would be a refreshing foil for toxic positivity that quintessentially American pressure to be upbeat at all times.
For the first eight months of the lockdown, my husband and I literally did not know anyone personally that had Covid. We were compliant using masks, sanitizer and delivery options. My husband got antsy and began venturing out but with caution. Most of the time it was outdoor camping. On Jan. 5 my husband started showing symptoms. Alarmed but hopeful, we treated it with everything we could and took all the medical advice. On Jan. 15 he was feeling better, had energy and color in his face. We were so relieved. Jan. 16 he woke up and was struggling to breathe. I took him to the E.R. but couldnt go in with him. He called later to say he was on antibiotics, antibodies, and oxygen and the doctor was going to keep him overnight. He felt better and his spirits were good. Three days later he went into respiratory distress, was moved to I.C.U. and put on a ventilator. My husband died Feb. 10, 2021. He turned 50 while in the hospital. The worst part was not being at his side. It breaks my heart to think he couldnt feel the comfort of our touch. Even though we were able to FaceTime our voices many times before he passed, I mourn not being at his side almost as much as his absence.
Joanne Atoigue, Las Vegas
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