Written By: Anton Sawyer
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As much as everyone wants to blame our Washington leaders for their lack of consistency in the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic—which isn't totally inaccurate—the delay of our country returning to a "pre-Covid world" is going to fall primarily on its citizens.
So far, this has not gone well. Having survived Covid-19 earlier in April of this year, it's been interesting watching how those who have not gotten it are trying to handle the situation. From people being attacked in public for wearing a mask (or not wearing one), people using hand sanitizer whenever they touch anything at all, to those acting as if nothing is happening anywhere, their actions run the gamut.
Yet, there seems to be a massive disconnect over what health organizations are saying should be done, and what people are actually doing.
A few months ago, when asked about the concept of herd immunity when combating the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that such a thing would be devastating. "The death toll would be enormous," he claimed. He isn't wrong. Sweden tried that route with its people, getting catastrophic results. Despite these warnings, here in the United States through our actions alone, we have decided to go the route of herd immunity as well.
Yes, states have been closed.
Yes, there have been mask mandates.
Education of the virus and how it spreads has been around every corner.
Yet millions of Americans have been fighting those elements tooth and nail. Anti-mask rallies, people purposefully coughing on others or items at stores, a large swath of individuals who absolutely refuse to do anything for the betterment of their fellow man.
In April 2020, Pew Research did a poll showing that if a vaccine were available, 72% of those polled would take it. Yet, when Gallup did the same poll at the end of September/beginning of October 2020, the number dropped to 50%. As we have been told by the WHO and CDC, a population of any given area needs at least 60-70% of its people to have either been vaccinated or have caught the illness and have the natural antibodies to keep the disease at bay. Without knowing how long those antibodies will keep a person from being re-infected with Covid-19, it's incredibly difficult to look at those who got sick and know for sure that if another wave comes, they will have the immune system to fight it.
On the flip-side of this, there has been great news over the last month or so with five companies having created viable vaccines—in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, it's showing initial data of being 90% effective. Within a few days of these announcements, a number of wealthy countries swooped in to grab them. Oxfam (an organization that works to fight poverty worldwide) researched and reported 13% of the world's population has purchased 51% of the promised doses for leading vaccine candidates. What this means is that 61% of the world's population will not have a vaccine until 2022.
We clearly have shown that through our own hubris, we are going to continue these trends of virus waves and spikes. With the research above indicating that half of the country would refuse the vaccine, along with not knowing how the antibodies from those previously infected are going to last, it appears that with Covid-19, there is no daybreak seen coming from the horizon.
As much as I loathe the thought of the government being involved in my daily life, they may have to for the betterment of our country.
Right now we are faced with two choices:
The government warns us that they are going to do a complete shutdown—with the exception of medical services—so we can get our necessities and then completely lockdown.
Keep doing what we have been; some people wearing masks and trying to help out, while others value their own personal liberties too much to be concerned about anyone else.
Currently, with how anti-government both sides of the fence have become, I don't see a full shutdown happening. What I do see happening though is 2021 being the year where no travelers can arrive or depart anywhere in the United States, as we will still be trying to get to that 70% level.
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