Everyone is getting vaccinated. Ok, not everyone. But a lot of people. In my home state of Florida, about half of the adult population (18+) has had at least one dose. A bit more than half of those are fully vaccinated against COVID19. People are starting to travel in larger numbers, even those without a vaccine.
About five weeks ago, I traveled to Guatemala, where I am planning to be for most of 2021. While very few people here are vaccinated at all – smaller, poorer countries can’t afford to buy up as many vaccines as the United States government has – the Guatemalan government does require all visitors to test negative for COVID19. This means, before I came, I had to take a test in the United States. It was the only time I’ve taken a COVID19 test. And it was not fun. In fact, a few minutes after the nurse stuck the stick up my nose, I blacked out and passed out.
The Guatemalan government isn’t the only country requiring a negative COVID test to enter. The U.S. government started requiring one in January. However, in late February, the Guatemalan government updated its policy. If you have been fully vaccinated (at least two weeks before you travel into Guatemala), you no longer need to take a COVID test. Your proof of the vaccine is all that is needed. And that is totally common sense.
I travel internationally quite a bit and I’ve been vaccinated for everything from Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Some of those vaccines are required, others are simply recommended.
I was personally not interested in getting a vaccine for COVID19 anytime soon. I’m younger and healthy and have a strong immune system. I never get the flu shot. I also never get the flu. (Knocks on wood).
However, I don’t want to ever take that COVID PCR test again if I don’t have to. So, I will be signing up for the vaccine as soon as I return to the United States in late May. I might even wait out the two weeks if it means that I meet the Guatemalan standard to re-enter their country without needing a COVID PCR test.
Here’s my gripe: The United States government has not yet updated its policy. Even if a vaccinated U.S. citizen is trying to re-enter our country from an international destination like Guatemala, we still have to be subjected to an inhumane COVID PCR test. That really defies logic. It’s hard to believe the Guatemalan government is more in line with common sense than the U.S. government. I think it’s now past time for the United States to lift this policy for vaccinated citizens. After all, if we are trying to persuade more people to get vaccinated against COVID19 – trust me, it is a great incentive!
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