Some of this I’m sure you’ve already heard about. I find Harper’s accumulation of this incidents particularly impactful:
The governor of Florida, which set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, announced an executive order that would withhold funding from any school district that requires students or staff to wear masks; the governor of Texas, which surpassed New York in total COVID-19 deaths, issued an executive order forbidding state and local officials from mandating masks or vaccines; and the governor of Arkansas, which has the third lowest vaccination rate of any state, declared a state of emergency unaccompanied by a mask requirement or any restrictions on businesses. “We are wide open in Arkansas,” he said. In Missouri, a clinic at the St. Charles County Fair did not manage to vaccinate a single person. “It’s disappointing,” said one local health official. Pharmacists in Missouri reported that people have been disguising themselves before getting the vaccine, fearing how their friends and family might react. According to one doctor, “They even went so far as to say, ‘Please, please, please, don’t let anybody know that I got this vaccine. I don’t want my friends to know. I don’t want to get COVID.’” The nation of Bhutan managed to fully vaccinate ninety percent of its adult population within a week of receiving the vaccine through foreign donations. “If there’s anything that I hope the world can learn,” said UNICEF’s representative in Bhutan, “it is that [in] a country like Bhutan, with very few doctors, very few nurses, but a really committed king and leadership in the government mobilizing society—it’s not impossible to vaccinate the whole country.”
Bhutan is way ahead of us.