By Ryan Blackerby

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Kids return to school in masks
Photo credit: Tess Schooley

Like most of us who’ve had the vaccine, I’m really happy for myself!  But just because I have one less thing to worry about doesn’t mean that everything is back to normal. Sure, I can go some places without a mask, but that doesn’t change the fact that others are still at risk, and the Delta variant is dangerous for the unvaccinated. Take my younger brother, sure he can be a bit annoying, but now my worries for my own health have shifted to him because he can still get Covid-19. All these deep thoughts made me realize that plenty of kids around the neighborhood must be feeling the same way, so I reached out to some of them.


One vaccinated 12-year-old I spoke with said, “I felt that the way we are going as a community is the right direction.” When asked about the topic, an unvaccinated 11-year-old said “I like that 12+ kids can get vaccinated because that means that Covid is slowly disappearing.” He added that “I have a brother who has the vaccine and I’m happy for him because he doesn’t have to wear a mask outside, and I am the only person in the house that can get Covid.”


Even though we might not all be directly benefited, a win for some is actually a win for all. This win comes in the form of herd immunity. “Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune,” says the Mayo Clinic, a nationally known medical research institution. The estimated amount of the population vaccinated to get herd immunity is 70% to 90%. But whether you’re eligible for the vaccine right now or not, it’s great to know that we can all be happy for each other. It’s easy to find a place near you to get a vaccine by using!