In other words, it fails to protect this group, which depends upon adult behavior to keep them safe. To help address social needs, it is my view that we should continue to feel comfortable interacting unmasked and in close contact with those in our “pod” — a small number of family and friends who explicitly agree to a similar level of mitigating behaviors, such as always wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, around those outside the pod.
Messaging from health authorities, including the CDC, offers tantalizing incentives for individuals to be inoculated. As a pediatrician, I appreciate and share the importance of incentivizing vaccination. However, I am concerned that this particular carrot puts children who can’t yet get vaccinated at risk and is therefore bad public policy. While vaccines are newly available for adolescents, they are not yet available to younger children who consequently are at higher risk of infection.
Like most of us, I yearn for normality. I, too, am tired of limiting my interactions, maintaining distance and wearing a mask. But for my 4-year-old daughter and her generation, I continue to do so when I am around others outside my pod, even among those who are vaccinated. I hope you will too.