READING, Pa. - Nearly a year after COVID-19 brought business as usual in Pennsylvania to a grinding halt, one doctor in Berks County said she's somewhat relieved and excited that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has clarified and updated guidance for fully vaccinated people.
"The state of mental health amongst our young people is concerning right now, but, really for everyone," said Dr. Karen Wang, director of pediatrics at the Berks Community Health Center in Reading. "I think the initial message that you still need to do everything the same, even though there's vaccine out there, made some people enter into a deeper depression. They thought this is never going to end."
Roughly 37 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
"We've seen the cases fall, the hospitalization numbers fall," Wang noted.
She, however, also warned that there is still a significant amount of the virus circulating in the Berks County community.
"I just got my shot about a week ago," said Robert Ritter, a county resident.
While updated CDC guidelines may be a dose of hope for some Americans, Ritter said he isn't expecting society to suddenly go back to the way things were pre-COVID.
"My mom is 93, so we're going to be extra careful," Ritter said. "We got mom this far, so we want to make sure she's okay. It's been rough for everyone."
"This should hopefully bring people's anxiety level down a little bit, while not completely relaxing people's vigilance," said Wang. "We don't want people disregarding their responsibility to protect other people."