The Unvaccinated Risk Killing this Economy—and Each Other

Here are some salient data points:

  • More than 97% of people getting hospitalized with Covid-19 now are unvaccinated.
  • 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated.
  • Florida is home to nearly one-fifth of COVID-19 cases nationally, with more than 7,700 cases logged yesterday.
  • Only one state has a higher daily per-capita positivity rate: Arkansas, which is, not incidentally, the state with the second-worst health care in the country, according to a U.S. News & World Report survey.


***UPDATE: The Brown School of Public Health is reporting that Florida now has the highest per-capita rate in the country, according to Yahoo! Finance.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the country is becoming a sweltering summer graveyard of the unvaccinated. The state of Florida seems to want to lead the way. Only 48% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

After the taste of normalcy we’ve enjoyed this summer, we risk backtracking on all the progress we’ve made—physically, psychologically, socially and economically. The stock market took a major dive Monday, as investors feared that the unvaccinated would cripple the booming but still tenuous economy. And the unvaccinated are causing us to retreat behind masks once again.

Apple, one of the country’s leaders in corporate culture, is advising employees to again wear masks—and has pushed back its return-to-the-office date for a month, until October 1. Both moves are in response to the fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus.

Digest this: “Even with half the U.S. vaccinated, Covid-19 continues to kill people faster than guns, car crashes and influenza combined,” reports Bloomberg.

Last week, SFBW held a healthcare roundtable, where we learned about children—who haven’t yet been cleared for the vaccines—in hospitals, on ventilators. It shocks the conscience. Some of those children landed in the hospital because of misinformed adults, even their parents.

The unvaccinated risk killing this economic recovery, each other, each other’s children, and even—in breakthrough cases—some of the vaccinated. But as everyone has heard, even when the vaccinated become infected, the vaccine, in general, saves them from severe illness—and likely reduces their infectiousness. As reported in the Wall Street Journal:

“‘Even when people get vaccinated and did get infected, they were less likely to have an illness that causes a fever,’” said Mark Thompson, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who helped lead the study. The findings also lend some support to evidence indicating that vaccinated people who are infected don’t transmit the coronavirus as much as the unvaccinated. ‘There’s reason to think that even if you get infected, you have less virus to spread around and infect other people,’ Dr. Thompson said.”

I’ve had a chance, in the last few months, to speak to several unvaccinated people and ask them why. They seemed unsure, vaguely hesitant, telling me that they were “just waiting,” but they didn’t know what for.

The “what for” is here.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.