A Light at the End of A Very Long Tunnel?

Image Courtesy of CDC

By Isa Pardino

COVID-19 has plagued the world for the past year and it has radically changed lives in the United States for the last 10 months. Throughout the pandemic, it has been difficult to find “the light at the end of the tunnel;” however, there seems to be a glimmer of hope, possibly coming soon.

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced that they are in the last stages of testing a coronavirus vaccine that could change lives around the world. According to CBS News, Pfizer said its “vaccine is in a working trial that has been 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.”

According to The New York Times, “On Monday, the Massachusetts-based company Moderna reported promising preliminary results from its coronavirus vaccine trial. Based on that data, the board estimated that the vaccine is 94.5% effective.” 

As the winter months approach, experts are saying that there could be a spike in the number of cases both in the world and in the United States. It is important not to become complacent in the protection of one’s health, as well as the health of others. The winter months are notorious for bringing in the flu season, and with this,  many people including health and government officials are wary of what this could mean for the ongoing pandemic.

Many governors and senators are beginning to make changes in their states and are implementing new phases to their states’ reopening plans. Some of these plans include a period of quarantine once again, new curfews, putting an end to indoor eating, as well as continuing to require masks.  For example, Governor Mike DeWine set a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. that will begin across Ohio on Thursday.

Many small business owners are worried about the impending changes because they have seen that many of these methods of protection were proven detrimental to their business at the beginning of the pandemic. According to NBC News, “Coronavirus cases have increased in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam over the past 14 days meaning there has been a 100 percent or more increase in confirmed cases over the past two weeks.” Since March the U.S. has seen 11.4 Million positive cases of COVID-19, with 248 thousand of those cases resulting in death.

According to a tweet from the CDC, “Hospitalization rates for COVID-19 have been steadily going up since the end of September. The rising rates mirror the increase in U.S. cases of COVID-19.” 

Although people are growing tired and impatient, does not mean that the coronavirus is taking a break. In fact, according to The Washington Post, “The average number of people dying of covid-19 each day in the United States has reached the highest level since the summer surge.” The pending holiday season has also put a lot of stress on government officials, as they warn their citizens to beware of the coronavirus and remind them that testing and quarantining is still important.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. “is continuing to urge families not to host Thanksgiving visitors,” according to The Washington Post.

“Make sure what should be a fun holiday gathering doesn’t turn into a tragedy for your family,” she said.

“The number one recommendation is [to celebrate with] just their immediate family for this one Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Peter Beilenson, director of Sacramento County Department of Health Services.

Officials suggest that people try to keep state-to-state travel to a minimum by using zoom to connect with family and friends this holiday season.

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