As we’ve closed in on the one year mark since our school, and many other schools across the country, have shut down and moved to remote or hybrid learning, many students have started to pose the question of if we will ever go back to normal. Many believe that normal will be different from what we envisioned and experienced before the pandemic. So will vaccines make Covid-19 go away? Or will we be living with it forever?
As of now, nearly 100 million Americans have gotten at least one dose from one of three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson. In New Hampshire, we are currently in phase 2a, which strives to get vaccines to all K-12 and child care staff. As procedures to distribute vaccines continue, Biden says that the US will be “approaching normalcy by the end of this year.”
Will Normal Be the Same as We Know it?
As seen from statistics, ever since vaccines have started to be distributed to citizens of the United States, Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations have greatly decreased. If vaccinations continue and do the job they should by creating sterilizing immunity, then no vaccinated person would transmit the virus. Therefore, it would go away. Though that is possible, we still can’t rule out the other possibility. As of now, scientists don’t actually know how much of the population needs immunity, defined as achieving it through recovering from an infection or a vaccination. Though they do have reason to believe around 55-82% of the population having immunity will do the job, statistics of previous viruses like Covid-19 have not achieved zero transmission even with around 75% immunity. Further, since the vaccines that we currently have being distributed have been developed in a very short period of time, making it much more likely to also be less protective against the new mutated strains. If this is true, Covid-19 will become a part of our lives, but less deadly and harmful much like the flu virus.
So what do you think is in store for our future with the Covid-19 virus?