Yeah... but. The messaging became that vaccines were going to be a silver bullet and the whole flatten the curve thing got lost with all the unicorns farting rainbows and cotton candy.
I understand where you're coming from and agree with most of what you are saying but my lived experience through this has been in a relatively unvaccinated county which is in a majority vaccinated (63%) state that is only majority vaccinated because of a single concentration of people who got the shot. None of the percentages is sufficient to ensure "herd immunity" and most likely will never be. This is all wrapped up in a country that by most measures was the worst place in the world to be during the last 18 months.
But even here it was possible to stay safe. As it was in Thailand before the situation went pear-shaped in April. And as it is in Thailand now.
The "once a high level of vaccination" you mention is never going to happen, anywhere. The goal has to be as much vaccine as possible along with everything else we've been doing all along. At some point - for me it was May of 2020 when the previous administration in the US proved it didn't give a rat's patootie about what happened - it becomes living to maximize your personal safety because - as you correctly point out - the people in charge really don't have a clue what's going to happen next. They were blindsided by Delta when they already knew about all the other variants and the trends that the virus was showing in response to our efforts. They'll be blindsided by the next one and the one after that because - and I just heard this on TV - we're "heading back to normal". The focus all along was never to beat the disease but to get back to "normal".
So, in a population of 70% vaccinated would I go out to a bar packed with people I didn't know? No way. Would I have a group of six or eight friends over for drinks and dinner? Sure. But everybody makes those decisions based on their own tolerance for risk. I've thought it through without regard to what the FDA or CDC or State Dept of Health is saying because here in the US, as in Thailand, the messaging was, and still is, totally messed up.
Covid doesn't discriminate, rich or poor, powerful, powerless, old or young it has killed many from all these types of people. Yes the rich and powerful can demand and get better medical treatment but even with the best treatment money can buy some still die. Think this would be a very risky scenario for the powerful.