The Atlantic Daily: A Guide to America’s Awkward, Semi-Vaccinated Months

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A possibly beautiful summer is ahead, but, first, Americans have to get through an awkward season of pandemic life. Our writers lay out how to think about safety in a semi-vaccinated world.

America is inching toward relief. But this moment doesn’t look the same for everyone.

The current chapter—in which some Americans are fully vaccinated, but not enough to protect the wider population against the coronavirus’s spread—is new territory. The rules of pandemic life are changing once again.

Here are a few things to remember as America takes its next, awkward steps toward normal.

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One question, answered: Why is Europe doing so much worse than the United States when it comes to vaccine rollout?

Our staff writer Olga Khazan writes:

Despite lost doses and frustrating vaccine websites, the U.S. is vaccinating its residents faster than any member of the European Union—which may be surprising, given that so many European health-care systems are touted as being more efficient than America’s. …

This story is more about the foibles of the European Union than the triumph of the United States. The EU worried that if it left each of its member countries to acquire vaccines for itself, smaller and poorer nations wouldn’t be able to buy enough. European leaders bet that, by negotiating for vaccines as a bloc, they could match America’s purchasing power.

Read Olga’s full story here.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

Listen to the latest episode of The Experiment, our new podcast with WNYC Studios: Filipino nurses have taken some of the hardest jobs in U.S. health care—and they’re dying of COVID-19 at alarming rates. Why?

Today’s break from the news:

Go ahead and fail: Our happiness columnist Arthur C. Brooks on how you can muster the courage to mess up.