Good news -- we have not yet reached the Biden administration's goal of reaching a virtual herd immunity by the fourth of July, but we're getting closer.
Over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated according to the White House and new coronavirus infections have dropped to their lowest level in nearly a year.
The halfway mark comes as federal, state and local leaders press ahead with delivering COVID-19 shots to people who have not yet received them, while also battling vaccination hesitancy, fears and misinformation.
"Now, with another week left in May, half of all U.S. adults are fully vaccinated," White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted overnight. [...]
The number of new U.S. infections fell to a seven-day average of 22,877 on Sunday, the lowest since June and less than one-tenth of its post-holiday peak of more than 250,000, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The Biden administration wants to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the public by July 1st, but reaching that goal is not going to be difficult for any logistical reason. There are plenty of doses of vaccine and open appointments for everyone, but reaching that goal relies on enough people being willing to get a shot.
I don't know if another 20 percent of the country will choose to be vaccinated over the next month, but I suppose I will choose to be optimistic in this case.
I am fully vaccinated and on Friday of last week I had my first experience with public life without a mask as the person I am now in transition. I had no less than three anxiety attacks on Friday before leaving for dinner, but once I got there; once I got a beer in my hand, I was okay. It certainly helped that the bar and restaurant were mostly empty at the relatively early hour of 4 pm, but I did not feel uncomfortable at any point.
I faced another test yesterday morning when I went grocery shopping for the first time without a mask. There was considerably more people at the grocery store than there were inside the restaurant last week and my level of anxiety was elevated, but I survived. When you're transgender, one of the first things you think of is other people giving you funny looks of confusion or derision -- and I have experienced that a handful of times even with a mask on -- but I decided to not pay attention to anyone else.
Unless a specific location requires it and outside of specific occasions, I can't see myself wearing a mask again. I don't have problem with wearing one if I need or have to, but I don't need to anymore.