The Atlantic Daily: America’s Vaccination Campaign Is Not Over

Posted by on July 6, 2021 7:30 pm
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America did not meet President Joe Biden’s Fourth of July vaccination goal. Just 67 percent of American adults have received at least one shot, falling short of the 70 percent target set by the White House.

“When you zoom in closer, though, we’re doing both better and worse than that, depending on where you look,” my colleague Sarah Zhang points out. “Our pandemic fates have diverged.”

And America’s vaccination campaign ought to be inflected with a renewed urgency thanks to Delta, the dangerous new variant that threatens to disturb the country’s summer reveries.


One question, answered: I’m fully vaccinated. Should I wear a mask in stores as a courtesy to service workers?

Our staff writer Amanda Mull weighs in:

Expectations about mask wearing in public are changing rapidly and unevenly right now, but humans are pretty good at picking up signals about norms in new surroundings. If you’re trying to do the right thing, then you should trust yourself to evaluate these situations as they come up.

First, check the signs. If a business says that vaccinated people need not wear a mask, it is not rude to take that at its word. If you’re worried that that policy reflects management’s perspective over employees’, then you should look to the workers themselves for hints. If they’re still masked up, then it’s polite to do so as well. If not, you don’t need to feel guilty about forgoing yours. You got vaccinated. It’s okay to unclench slightly.

If all this stresses you out, there’s also nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution. Service workers have had a brutal year, and will probably take your mask as a sign of attempted kindness. Whatever you decide, tip well.

Speaking of tips: Learn about how they’ve changed since the start of the pandemic.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Quit Twitter. “It stole reading from me. What is it stealing from you?” our staff writer (and self-proclaimed Twitter addict) Caitlin Flanagan asks.

A break from the news:

Two government biologists barely made it off a remote Alaskan island alive. No one had known it was ready to erupt.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.

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