Boston Globe, May 2021
The good news: Our region has the highest vaccination rates in the country, with Massachusetts second only to New Hampshire when it comes to people who have gotten at least one shot of the COVID vaccine. The bad news: We can’t secede.
Not that we’d want to, right? Right? Sure, closing our borders has a certain appeal for those of us enamored of environmental regulations, sane gun safety measures, common decency, and herd immunity. But we all have loved ones out there in the world beyond, and, even now, the United States still seems like quite a good notion. And so it is that just as we were all at the mercy of those who refused to mask up and take other precautions that would have slowed the spread of COVID over the last year, we are now at the mercy of those who won’t take the shot. That stubborn fact remains as maddening as it ever was.
Nationally, about 30 percent of Americans are reluctant to get the vaccine, and though that number will drop, experts are saying it won’t get low enough to give herd immunity. In some states, including Wyoming, North Dakota, and Mississippi, people are super hesitant to be vaccinated. Which means that COVID hangs around, and mutates,and even in states with high vaccination rates that’s a scary prospect.