How long will the coronavirus pandemic last and when can we begin to see some relief?
So much depends on a number of variables:
- Vaccine rollouts
- Disease progression
- Resistance to vaccination mandates
Certainly, resistance to vaccination mandates is dividing the United States, pitting the Federal government against many Red States and moreover, pitting companies cross-industry against their employees.
I firmly believe those folks who are currently resisting getting vaccinated have made up their minds and are more likely than not to continue resisting any and all mandates, up to and including leaving their jobs in protest.
What I’m seeing more and more are those who are vaccinated, siding with those resisting. Why? More often than not because they believe the American way is free choice, even though Superman has abandoned the American way and gone PC.
The kick in the pants – the Delta variant
The severity of the Delta variant certainly reversed the transition to some form of normalcy, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, and by all means, has moved overall herd immunity out of reach for many 3rd world countries.
Realistically, an epidemiological endpoint may never be reached. Are new variants on the horizon? Will this virus mutate into something more deadly, or fizzle away? For now, life seems to be leveling out as we’re seeing football stadiums filled with 80 thousand to 100 thousand fans sitting right next to each other and cases still going down. Let’s go Brandon chants reflect the public’s frustration with the Federal government’s vaccination mandates.
The Delta variant is highly transmittable, which lessens herd immunity, increasing the short-term burden of disease, resulting in more cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Why booster shots?
Testing for vaccines to address these types of spike viruses has been going on for over ten years. The issue has always been longevity – how long will the vaccine last? Well, recent serial blood tests indicate that immunity still tends to wane fairly quickly, thus booster shots.
Fourth quarter 2021
Cases remain in decline leading up to 2022. Now that the FDA has approved mixing vaccinations, I suspect percentages of vaccinations and booster shots will increase, leading to a quasi-state of normalcy.
Of course, there’s always the risk of another variant. Add in influenza and other cold weather respiratory diseases and the new year promises to be interesting.
Low or high level threat going forward?
It seems to me that Covid-19 should be now managed as a constant low level threat, much like influenza, instead of an extraordinary one requiring society-crushing mandates. Other countries have already made that shift, so it remains to be seen what path the United States takes.
On the surface, it appears that America is highly polarized, divided among liberals and conservatives. On one hand, we keep hearing of employers needing more employees, yet the Federal government and a large number of companies are threatening to terminate any employee who resists vaccination.
What I find alarming is the number of nurses, who we recently classified as heroes in the fight against Covid-19, are now being terminated for their vaccine resistance.
Factors that will affect potential outcomes:
- Regarding the end of the pandemic, the emergence of new variants that evade vaccine immunity to the extent that they frequently cause severe disease in those already vaccinated would adversely inhibit any return to normalcy.
- Longevity of vaccines – will we have to take booster shots forever?
- Supply chain issues. Will the current state of supply chain disasters affect either the manufacture or rollout of vaccines?
- How will countries around the globe define an acceptable burden of disease?
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