As progress continues with the Biden-Harris administration’s vaccine effort, there’s much to be hopeful about: cases numbers have been driven down substantially from their January high, vaccination rates are among the fastest in the world and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have plummeted. These facts alone have been enough to buoy the spirits of countless citizens exhausted by the mental and physical toll the past year has caused.
But although we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, we aren’t there yet. Reckless and premature rollbacks in states like Texas and Mississippi — and soon to be others — threaten to erode the hard-won progress we’ve made and create pockets of potential new infections. As we face the growing threat of alarming virus variants, the best tools we still have in the race to vaccinate a majority of Americans continue to be mask-wearing and physical distancing.