It may not be a revelation but the more we learn, the more we become surprised about what it is exactly that we didn't really know before. Can we be vaccinated and still catch the virus? Can we still spread it? Do we catch it and never know because the vaccine has got our back? Are vaccinated people safer to be with for the non-vaccinated, or should we keep to our own?
The Chief Medical Advisor to the US President, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN, "You can start getting together as individual people, even though the risk is not zero, the risk becomes extremely low when you have both parties vaccinated." The hardest thing in the new COVID-19 world that we now live in might just be how to know who that second party is. It's easier to know the vaccination status of the people you know well, but in the wider world outside of our social bubble, knowing who is vaccinated and who is not is more problematic.
The New York Times reported recently that deciding which risks to take can prove mentally exhausting too. Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, an assistant professor of communications at Michigan State University said, “Our brains just get so tired of weighing each and every thing that we just run out of brain power on gradients.” As if we don't have enough to contend with with the virus, we now have to think overtime and worry that we don't make one single lapse of judgement along the way.
As more of the population are becoming vaccinated we now approach the crossroads of virus confidence and virus fear. We can be confident that the virus is on the decline, but must remain vigilant that we don't let our guard slip at the wrong moment. Any way that we can ease the fear and also responsibly increase the confidence by removing the fatigue of constant risk calculations, is a step towards brighter days. We should be living confidently with COVID now, so that we don't have to live with it at all in the future.