Iowan's and all Americans desperately want their old lives back. But, will the unthinkable happen again? Too late, it already is.

Just when we thought things were getting better, this Center For Disease Control interactive map shows more than 60% of counties in the U.S. are seeing a high level of community transmission of the Delta variant. Last week, the CDC updated their mask guidance to recommend masking in public indoor settings for fully vaccinated people who live in areas of substantial or high transmission. While widespread shut-downs and closings are un-likely, this is still going to disrupt our daily lives in some way.

Will the "mask wars" return?

Retailers across the nation are, once again, contemplating whether or not to reinstate mask mandates in stores for shoppers and employees. Major retailers, like Walmart, are requiring masks for store workers in high-risk counties. I'm sure many businesses are debating how to be mindful of their worker's and customer's health, while at the same time, not alienating people who choose not to wear a mask.

What's going to happen in the upcoming school year?

The CDC is recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. I'm sure this topic will reach a "boiling point" here in the next month, as the new school year draws closer and closer. In the meantime, our neighbors to the north at the University of Minnesota, are bringing back its mask mandate effective Tuesday. As we've seen before, when one school does it, many are sure to follow their lead.

Concerts are being canceled or postponed

There are reports of some indoor and even outdoor concerts being canceled or postponed in California, Louisiana, and possibly other states.

51% of Americans are very/extremely concerned about the Delta variant

recent study shows a little more than half of Americans are very or extremely concerned about this new twist in the COVID-19 saga. Locally, the Black Hawk County Health Department has issued a press release encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccination and resume indoor mask use in response to rising positivity rates in the county and nation, in response to rising positivity rates in the Cedar Valley and nationwide.

Black Hawk County is currently experiencing a high level of transmission, as of today, (Monday, August 2nd), the 14-day average percent positive was 11.1%. Earlier this summer, that number was showing a "moderate risk" at around 4%.

“COVID-19 is not going anywhere without increased vaccination in our community, We need to take this seriously. No one wants to return to the isolation we experienced last year."  said Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye. (Black Hawk County Health Director)

 

Egbuonye also reminds everyone to continue hand washing and social distancing and recommends that the public takes advantage of vaccine opportunities in the community.

Unvaccinated people are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19

The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people can carry and spread the COVID-19 virus, specifically the highly contagious Delta variant, even when showing no symptoms. Fortunately, infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.

Black Hawk County Health Department to offer a Free Youth Vaccine Event

The vaccine will be available for anyone ages 12+ on Tuesday, August 10 from 3-7 pm at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex, 300 Jefferson Street, Waterloo. Those receiving a vaccine on that day will receive a free day pass to either the Cedar Valley SportsPlex or one of the Waterloo City Pools.

Learn More: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

CHECK IT OUT - The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest