COVID-19 Vaccine On the Way As Cases and Hospitalizations Surge
Whether you visited family and friends during the holidays, whether you were around other people at all, you can’t escape the constant news of cases of the coronavirus spiking across the country, and the fear of overwhelmed hospitals and deaths.
Undoubtedly at this point we all know people who have been infected. Unfortunately, with this comes sickness, sometimes severe, and sometimes fatal.
It’s a scary time in America, and our area, as well.
Everywhere we go, we see people wearing masks. We practice social distancing, and do all sorts of strange things we’ve never done before in order to ward off the virus. Yet, we still see this remarkable surge in cases. How can this be?
This virus is a strange and confusing enemy, giving us very little help to figure out what we can safely do, and what puts us, our families and friends in danger. Obviously we need to protect ourselves, but even in situations where restrictions are very strict, the virus surfaces, and rages out of control.
The NFL is all over the map trying to keep games on schedule while pulling unknown players out of nowhere to play quarterback, and rescheduling games over and over. College sports are struggling to keep any kind of a season on track.
These institutions have huge budgets and infrastructure to assure they operate in the safest manner. It still doesn’t work. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, spas, and churches struggle to make it through this crisis – a daunting task. Go to the mall. Empty hallways and stores that will likely not make it. It’s gut-wrenching!
Considering all the things we have done to protect ourselves, it’s a challenge to just imagine what else, besides a total lockdown, we can do to prevent the spread. But, would a total lockdown even work?
Doctors and hospitals have gotten immensely more proficient at handling cases, and helping most people recover from the disease, yet the number of deaths continues to grow. This country owes a huge thank you to health care workers, scientists and doctors for their talents, commitment and hard work to find better answers and treatments to help us survive this awful pandemic.
The whole thing will make your head spin – wait, I’m sure your head is already spinning, as is mine, just considering all this.
Could a Vaccine Be Here Soon?
Enter Operation Warp Speed. Using our modern technology and a fierce public-private partnership we appear to be on the verge of something that has never been done before – development of a vaccine in such a short period of time. Yes, vaccines are on the horizon, which look amazingly effective, so far.
Moderna and Pfizer have already applied for emergency authorization to distribute vaccines that the data shows, so far, are over 90% effective at stopping the virus, and virtually 100% effective at preventing serious illness.
The Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine is another choice that could be available very soon. This vaccine doesn’t need to be stored in a freezer and lasts longer, so it may be easier to distribute.
These are three different vaccines, which is, quite frankly, an amazing feat! It is almost unbelievable given the carnage we have seen, that shortly there will be millions of doses available.
Anyone who has been around science for any period of time can truly appreciate that development of a vaccine in less than a year is unheard of – as many people would simply say – it is simply not possible. And, then we hear the news, and it appears these three choices are on the way – soon.
How do we make it through winter to a time when we actually have these little miracle drugs available?
It is mind-boggling to look around and decide what to do during these winter months while the virus is raging and businesses are crumbling.
All this author can say is hang in there. We will get through this thing – together. Be smart. Use your mask. Be careful. Respect the elderly, frail and vulnerable. Now might be a time to re-double our efforts in order to make it to the end of the tunnel when there actually is a vaccine that will protect us.
The CDC, state governments and doctors are all weary of another surge on top of this one as a result of Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. Keep an eye on what’s going on and consider what you will be doing for Christmas and New Years. It may be a time to wait it out and keep your distance. With, what appears to be, a real solution to this whole mess on the horizon, now might be the time to sacrifice.