‘It’s limbo’: Parents stuck between two COVID-19 worlds as young kids remain unvaccinated

Illustration of an amusement park

As the world returns to normal, fully vaccinated parents feel left behind while their young children are unprotected against the coronavirus.

By Adrianna Rodriguez, Alia E. Dastagir and Erin Richards
USA Today
July 14, 2021

Daniel Horowitz’s grip tightened around his children’s hands as he looked upon the sea of people in horror. Nobody was wearing a mask.

The amusement park’s website said any unvaccinated visitors were required to wear face coverings, but it didn’t take long for the 42-year-old father to realize these rules weren’t being enforced.

This was not the safe, socially distanced summer Horowitz had in mind.

Although the dad from Wilmington, Delaware, is fully vaccinated, his 8-year-old daughter, Emily, and 4-year-old son, Adam, are unprotected. Horowitz was excited to give them the summer they had lost last year, but he said the lack of regard for unvaccinated children puts them at risk.

“They don’t seem to be taking the kids into account too much when making these regulations,” he said. “We want our kids to do fun things, but we wish it was safer for them.”

As the country picks up where it left off, fully vaccinated parents feel left behind while their children are unvaccinated and unprotected against the coronavirus.

Studies have shown children are less likely to get infected and develop severe illness from COVID-19, but these studies were conducted during mask and social distancing mandates, and while the country had robust testing. Some parents said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should offer more specific guidance for navigating the new normal withtheir unvaccinated kids…

With all this in mind, families have to weigh what level of risk they’re willing to tolerate, said Amanda Simanek, an epidemiology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“We are in a pand-exit period – it’s limbo,” said Simanek, a mother of a 12-year-old who is fully vaccinated and two younger children who are not yet eligible…

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