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Partially vaccinated households struggle to navigate freedom and risk

Adding to the complexity is that even if every adult in a home is vaccinated, young children are unlikely to be for a while; while in New York, people 16 and older will qualify on April 6, but vaccinations for young children have only just begun.

Until then, someone who was the first in the families to be vaccinated discovered that the shots were carried with new responsibilities: shopping for groceries, going to the laundry, visiting the sick.

Only released data show that the vaccines Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech provide strong protection against infections, which alleviates the fear that vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others. But the data is new, and the vaccinated have spent months wondering if their newfound freedoms, such as trips to the cinema or dinner with friends, can bring the virus home to their loved ones.

“These are all teams that just weigh heavily on everyone, and can sometimes lead to more anxiety and tension and depression,” said George James, a therapist at the Council for Relationships’ Mental Health Center in Philadelphia that focuses on couples and families. . But a possible plus in the last turbulent year, he said, was that families may now be better equipped to navigate this new twist.

“It does not mean that families are not in crisis or are overwhelmed or at the breaking point,” said Dr. James. “But if I were to look at it as a whole, I think there would have been more strength and resilience and the ability to say, ‘OK, we figured this out, we can figure out the next one.’ “

Ashraya Gupta, 34, was vaccinated because she teaches science, and teachers were made eligible for the vaccine in January. She now has the pleasure of planning vacations, weekends away with friends and cinema excursions. But the life of her hitherto unvaccinated partner, Colin Kinniburgh (30) – a freelance journalist, with whom she lives in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn – is largely unchanged from the year of the lockdown.

Mrs Gupta recently spent a weekend with a friend, a schoolteacher who was also vaccinated. It was the first time she had seen that friend in over a year, she said – and one of the few times she and Mr. Kinniburgh have been apart since the outbreak began. The weekend was rebuilding, she said, for both of them.

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