Covid-19 numbers are getting better. But letting your guard down could be an open invitation for highly contagious variants to trample the US — erasing the progress made.
“We’re … seeing what happens in other countries when these variants take over,” emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen said. “There is (an) explosive surge, even when the countries are basically in shutdown.”
The warning comes as more Americans believe there’s no big risk in returning to pre-Covid life, according to a new poll.
An Axios-Ipsos poll published Tuesday showed 66% of those surveyed said they thought the risk of returning to pre-Covid life was moderate or large. That’s the lowest percentage since October.
The groups least likely to see Covid-19 as a risk were people ages 18 to 29 (58%) and Republicans (49%).
But a majority of those vaccinated — 76% — still see coronavirus as a high risk.
Americans shouldn’t assume the vaccine rollout means it’s OK to get lax with safety measures. In fact, ditching precautions now would be “incredibly risky,” said Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It is absolutely essential that we continue to do steps beyond vaccination to keep this under control,” Besser said.
“The reason for that is that the more this virus is allowed to spread in our communities, the more we’re going to see these variants spreading,” he said.
“And if the vaccines aren’t as effective against some of these variants, then we could see the gains that we’re so excited about right now, we could see those reversed in a very short amount of time.”
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