Getting ready to reopen: vaccine passports and social anxiety

With schools, restaurants, sports venues, and travel reopening, we'll look at plans for vaccine passports and explore the anxiety many are feeling around returning to normal.

Listen 49:30
Moviegoers sitting in a socially distant seating arrangement at the AMC Lincoln Square 13 theater

Moviegoers sitting in a socially distant seating arrangement at the AMC Lincoln Square 13 theater on the first day of reopened theaters after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Friday, March 5, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

While coronavirus infections remain high and public health officials warn to stay vigilant, the world is slowly beginning to reopen — schools, businesses, restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, and tourist destinations. But after socially distancing for a year, many people are understandably anxious. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that half of adults reported feeling anxiety about in-person interactions once the pandemic ends, even those who’ve been vaccinated. This hour, we explore anxiety around returning to a pre-pandemic world and discuss ways to balance COVID risk with our mental and physical health needs. We’ll talk with Boston University clinical psychologist ELLEN HENDRIKSEN and Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist JENNIFER NUZZO. But first, we’ll look at the Biden administration’s plans to create vaccine passports as a tool to boost business re-openings and consumer confidence. The Washington Post’s DAN DIAMOND tells us about the logistical, privacy and ethical challenges involved.

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