Different Takes: Why Are Millions Refusing The Vaccine?; U.K. Looking Into Home Covid Treatment
Opinion writers examine these Covid issues.
Millions Are Saying No to the Vaccines. What Are They Thinking?
Several days ago, the mega-popular podcast host Joe Rogan advised his young listeners to skip the COVID-19 vaccine. “I think you should get vaccinated if you’re vulnerable,” Rogan said. “But if you’re 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go, ‘No.’ ”Rogan’s comments drew widespread condemnation. But his view is surprisingly common. One in four Americans says they don’t plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and about half of Republicans under 50 say they won’t get a vaccine. This partisan vaccine gap is already playing out in the real world. The average number of daily shots has declined 20 percent in the past two weeks, largely because states with larger Trump vote shares are falling off the pace. (Derek Thompson, 5/3)
Covid-19 At-Home Treatment: Britain Moves On To Next Big Problem
Britain’s Vaccine Task Force was the country’s biggest triumph since the 2012 Olympics — and it was a lot more consequential. It gave the U.K., which has one of the world’s highest pandemic death tolls, early access to a suite of effective vaccines and a jumpstart on immunizing the population. It saved countless lives. Can the government replicate that success to find a drug that can treat Covid-19 at home? (Therese Raphael, 5/3)
COVID-19 Front Lines Need Community Health Workers. They Need Support.
As a community health worker and executive director of the National Association of Community Health Workers, I’ve spent the past year gathering insights about the mental and emotional challenges for the people on the front lines of pandemic response in neighborhoods across America. I know well the anxiety and guilt they feel trying to comfort and support families who’ve struggled through loss after loss in isolation and uncertainty. Yet, on top of pandemic-induced pressures, recent events form a grim reminder of other, enduring American crises that our community responders face: a string of mass shootings and the catastrophic consequences of racism. (Denise Octavia Smith, 5/4)
Los Angeles Times:
We Need A More Powerful WHO To Prevent Next COVID-19
Only a handful of places — including Taiwan, Vietnam and New Zealand — acted in time to contain the coronavirus last year, causing the world to spend trillions of dollars fighting an infection that has led to the deaths of more than 3 million people so far. The World Health Organization shoulders some of the blame. At the least, it should have declared COVID-19 a pandemic weeks sooner than March 11, 2020, which would have underlined the urgency of a global response. The organization’s failures point up the need to strengthen it. The WHO’s potential was demonstrated by the successes it did have as the world tried to corral the coronavirus. It helped coordinate an incredibly rapid global-learning process around the nature of the virus, testing, treatments and developing vaccines. And it would have accomplished more if it had had greater power to investigate outbreaks, greater resources that a more robust budget could pay for, and a greater ability to support outbreak response and vaccine development. (Charles Kenny, 5/2)
Pandemic-Related Trauma Is Real. Resources Are Needed.
An 11-year-old patient of mine changed abruptly from an outgoing, confident boy to an anxious, fearful one after his father developed COVID-19. He now wakes in the middle of the night crying and follows his mother around the house all day. A Catholic priest, who contracted COVID-19 during the first weeks of the pandemic, is a “long-hauler” who wakes each morning with the simple hope he’ll be able to smell a lemon slice in his tea. (Mark Reineke, 5/3)
I Was Wrong About COVID Vaccines. Here’s What I Learned.
In this opinion section a year ago, I predicted few people would be vaccinated for coronavirus disease in 2021. I’m glad I was wrong. I’ve been vaccinated and I hope you are, or will be soon. Skeptics like me underestimated three things: mRNA technology, the speed of the Food and Drug Administration and the willingness of the U.S. government to invest billions in vaccines that might not work. These lessons have implications for the race to cure other diseases and for future pandemics. Let’s look more closely at the three misconceptions before turning to the three lessons. (David Ridley, 5/4)