We evidently still have a ways to go ...
The nation's top infectious-disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic still poses a significant threat, and people can only expect to return to "relative normalcy" between April and July of 2021.
While there are high chances that the pandemic will worsen over the winter months, Fauci remains hopeful of a vaccine coming as early as December 2020 or the beginning of 2021. Even with the arrival of a vaccine, the transition to our normal life is not going to be easy, suspects the director of NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases).
Fauci mentioned the announcement of Pfizer's vaccine, which is 90 percent effective in early data, and also another company testing its vaccine in trials, with results yet to be declared.
"That's great, but we have to get people to take the vaccine," Fauci said. "So, if we get the overwhelming majority of people taking the vaccine, and you have on the one hand an effective vaccine, on the other hand, a high degree of uptake of the vaccine, we could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year, where people can start thinking about doing things that were too dangerous just months ago."
The availability of a vaccine and its distribution amongst the masses will be time-consuming, and it may stretch till late 2021. With vaccines and social health policy practice, it will be a gradual transition, Fauci explained.
"If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it's going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021."
File photo of Dr. Anthony Fauci from September 2020, Associated Press
With winter settling in, indoor activities are occurring more, which is a major reason for the spike in new cases all over the country.
"Being indoors absolutely increases the risk" of transmission, Fauci had said in September. "I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into the fall and winter season."
On Sunday, the U.S. reported 139,005 new cases and 897 fatalities, a number dangerously high, and indicating a grim winter ahead.
"We need to do all those things together, we can't just wish it happening," concluded Fauci. "We've got to get the vaccine, it's got to be deployed, and we can't abandon fundamental public health measures."
**There is outstanding news from Moderna this Monday morning that its Covid19 vaccine is >94% effective from early Phase 3 data. As Dr. Fauci says, help is on the way, but we need to keep safe until then.
What do you think? Will you take the coronavirus vaccine? Tell us in the comments!