At the beginning of the pandemic, when the disease was still novel, it was assumed by the majority of the American population that after a two-week quarantine period, COVID-19 would retreat like a forgotten bad dream.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. Now almost two years into the pandemic, daily life has changed drastically. A return to “normal” is a long way away.
According to John Hopkins University, in the past week, we have reached the bleak milestone of 1 in every 500 Americans dying of COVID-19 since March of 2020. Globally, this number is even higher at roughly 227 million COVID-related deaths on record.
This news is a gruesome look into the reality of the pandemic, as many people have grown tired of quarantined life and returned to their normal routines–even those without the COVID vaccine. Hospitals are still struggling to accommodate the large load of COVID patients on top of their regular patients. Recent CDC research has shown that the majority of people who are being hospitalized from COVID have not received the COVID vaccine. Additionally, the majority of those who have been killed by COVID have been unvaccinated, with the exception of a minority of the cases being a vaccinated population in severe high-risk groups such as the elderly and those with extreme pre-existing conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, as of Sep. 16, 63.6 percent of the U.S. population had at least one vaccine shot, and 54.5 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. To reach herd immunity, the Mayo Clinic recommends reaching 80 to 100 percent vaccination in the population.
The CDC highly recommends that everyone who is eligible to get the vaccination does so to protect themselves and those around them. If you are nervous about the vaccine, the CDC has an abundance of educational information on their website to help the population stay informed.
In addition to the vaccine, the CDC strongly urges people to continue wearing masks as a COVID prevention method. These two recommendations combined provide the highest level of protection from COVID in indoor areas and communities with high transmission rates. Both vaccination and mask-wearing are urgent matters with the surge of the new highly transmissible and heavily contagious Delta variant.
Taking prevention steps to protect yourself and those around you from COVID is essential to slow down the pandemic, and eventually eradicating widespread preventable illness once and for all. A phrase that was used commonly at the beginning of the pandemic, flatten the curve, is still applicable. These precautions should not stop because we tire of following them, as following them is what will ultimately help us to really return to pre-pandemic practices and routines.
If you are debating whether or not to receive a COVID vaccine and have not already, there are an abundance of educational resources available regarding how the vaccine was created, why it was released so fast, and how it helps to prevent serious COVID cases.
You can check out the following websites to learn more: