The anger of those who are vaccinated against COVID is beginning to show against those who refuse

Masked people at movie theater - covid vaccinated angry
Photo via Jorge Franganillo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The ever-evolving COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to result in a rift between those who’ve received their vaccine and those who have not. The vaccinated are starting to become resentful and angry over those who’ve refused a COVID shot. Some vaccinated people feel the unvaccinated are to blame for the continued presence of the virus in our day-to-day lives, and they’re not happy about it.  

The highly contagious delta COVID variant continues to ravage countries around the world. Despite its frightening transmissibility—delta is 60% more contagious than previous variants—some people remain stalwart in their refusal to receive a COVID vaccine. This is leading to a resurgence of cases in the U.S., and it prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reverse a May decision that vaccinated people could ditch their masks in most situations.

The CDC announced on July 27 that everyone, even the fully vaccinated, should resume mask-wearing while in indoor spaces, especially in areas of increasing COVID numbers. This decision, aimed at protecting the health of the country, has resulted in anger among some of those vaccinated against COVID-19. After more than a year of implementing advised health measures in their day-to-day lives, many vaccinated Americans feel betrayed by their eligible neighbors who refuse to get a vaccine.

The update in masking advisement comes after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced that data “unfortunately warrants” the renewed masking efforts. While vaccinated people are far less likely to transmit the virus and are very unlikely to become severely ill from a breakthrough infection, these possibilities still exist.

Since the pandemic has become one “of the unvaccinated,” according to July 16 comments from Walensky, the risk posed to the unvaccinated is too great to ignore. 

“We really need to work to get these areas in the country that have substantial and high amount of transmission right now down to lower amounts of transmission,” Walensky said. 

Meanwhile, people who followed health advice to stay isolated, maintain mask wearing, and avoid travel are weary of the continued safety measures. They feel they’ve done everything possible to keep their communities safe but remain imprisoned by the decisions of their fellow citizens.

The very same people who are most at risk—the unvaccinated—are also often those who refuse to wear masks in public. This is leading those vaccinated against COVID to become angry. The vaccinated feel they are bearing the bulk of the weight against COVID, a virus they are already protected against. 

Many vaccinated individuals agree with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) , who said in July that “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

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Sources: Stat News, New York Times, Washington Post

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