Too many Americans are still in covid denial

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from The Washington Post,

… recovering from my first (and hopefully last) bout of the disease. In a way, I now feel more connected with people whose lives have been touched by covid. But of course, many lives have not been just touched but crushed by the disease. The cost of 1 million friends and relatives lost during the past 27 months resists summary and comparison. There is no adequate scale on which to measure this mass of grief.

Yet trying is better than living in denial — pretending that the hurricane never passed or the earthquake never happened. At its worst, covid-19 became the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. The country saw its largest drop in life expectancy since World War II. More than 200,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver.

Now imagine yourself part of a country seeking to help the United States with its covid-19 crisis. You are trying to deliver a miraculous vaccine that deters most infection and nearly guarantees freedom from severe disease. The key, as always, is adherence. But there is a powerful Red Faction — dominant in much of the country — that is partial to quack treatments, distrustful of modern medicine and resistant to vaccines (and mask-wearing) as a point of political pride.

Surely, over time, the Red Faction would witness the health benefits of three or four jabs of a needle. Surely it would refuse to take health advice from wacko politicians and unreliable community healers. Surely the stigma would fade as the vaccine proved safe and effective.

But no. After more than two years, California reached more than 70 percent with full vaccine coverage. But a large number of states — including Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Wyoming, Indiana — have barely reached 50 percent.

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