Three days ago, the head of the US CDC said, more-or-less, that you’re going to get more protection from wearing a mask than you are from the forthcoming US vaccine. He’s had to recant, publicly, since then. But my guess is the he got it right the first time.
I summarized that in Post #815, What if this is as good as it gets? With the title being my take on that testimony. We’ve been expecting a vaccine to make a radical change in the situation. But, taken at face value, the US CDC director basically just told us, that’s not going to happen. Presumably, the implication of what he said is that it’ll do no more than mask wearing and social distancing have done.
Today I stumbled across a recent interview with Dr. Fauci where he said that if we adhere to all the current public health measures, and we get a “good” vaccine, we might be able to return to normalcy as early as the end of 2021. Apparently, he’s been saying 2021 for some time. This is the first time I’d seen it stated as the end of 2021. And seen that conditional on having a “good” vaccine.
So, twice in the last couple of days, responsible public health leaders have told us that this is about as good as it gets, for the time being. Vaccines really won’t alter the situation in any material way, for quite some time. Even with a “good” vaccine, the situation we are in right now — with the shutdowns and social distancing and all of that — that’s as good as it gets, until at least the end of 2021. And that’s only projected to end if we have a “good” vaccine, and everybody adheres to the other public health measures like social distancing and mask use.
At this point, I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking through this. I need slap myself across the face, wake up, and start listening to the people who know what they’re talking about, and plan accordingly.
The smartest people in the room are trying to tell us that we’re going to be in this semi-lockdown, socially-distanced, mask-wearing limbo for … a year or years to come. Vaccine or no vaccine.
And now that I’m waking up, I realize just how many things I’d let slide because I unconsciously assumed that there was a chance that we could return to normalcy soon. Particularly with numerous vaccines on the way. No sense in doing things that incur a risk of COVID-19 infection if US society is likely to be COVID-free in the near future.
Should I list a few? I’ve been slacking off on exercise, thinking, well, I’ll be able to get back to the gym soon enough. Nope. No I won’t. So I’ve been putting on weight accordingly, but you know, that’ll come off when I can get back to the gym three days a week. Nope, that’s not going happen any time soon. I’ve put off seeing the doctor, figuring, it can wait until things are back to normal. No sense being around a lot of sick people during a pandemic. I’ve put off a major home repair because I don’t want workmen in the house, figuring things won’t have rotted out completely by the time we’re over this COVID thing. Again, wrong, wrong, wrong. And so on.
So I think I finally am getting my mind around this. This really is as good as it gets. For quite some time, anyway. That’s what the smartest people in the business are telling us. If you try to live your life in a reality-based fashion, plan accordingly.