Podcast: How to live in a partially COVID-vaccinated society

Credit: Mark Felix/Getty Images
Credit: Mark Felix/Getty Images

[A]bout a quarter of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. So until many more people get their shots, Americans remain in this sort of hybrid society of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

[Ailsa Chang:] What can you finally do now that you are vaccinated – or more importantly, what should you still not be doing?

[Emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen:] I think that we need to switch the mentality from something that is 100% safe or 100% risk. That’s not the reality. Actually, what we should be doing is to think about, how can we reduce our risk for us and for those around us?


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And so one concept that I’ve been talking about is that of a coronavirus budget, just as we have a financial budget, where you realize that you can’t do everything, but you also want to prioritize the things that you have to do.

For example, you may have to go to work or sending your kids to school is absolutely essential. You want to do what you value the most, recognizing that you can’t do it all. And then for those things, try to reduce your risk in those activities. Being vaccinated is a key method for reducing your risk.

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