Kicking Covid: Hopes hinge on vaccination

by Pete Mazzaccaro
Posted 12/2/20

As we all finish off what’s left of turkey leftovers this week, public health officials are nervously eying Covid-19 data with reasonable fears that Thanksgiving celebrations are likely to kick off what will easily be the worst wave of infections we’ve seen since the pandemic began in March.

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Kicking Covid: Hopes hinge on vaccination

Posted

As we all finish off what’s left of turkey leftovers this week, public health officials are nervously eying Covid-19 data with reasonable fears that Thanksgiving celebrations are likely to kick off what will easily be the worst wave of infections we’ve seen since the pandemic began in March.

“In public health, we are very concerned about the potential impact of the Thanksgiving holiday and particularly those people who, despite our advice, traveled … and those that did have smaller and larger gatherings,” said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said on Monday.

As the week began Covid case counts had reached a plateau – a leveling off after the worst month on record. Deaths have also, mercifully, stayed low. As of this writing, Philadelphia has had 1,975 deaths from Covid. The state has had 10,383. The state recorded the greatest number of new cases ever on Nov. 25: 9,279. It’s four times as many cases as the worst day in the spring, April 8 in which 2,062 new cases were reported.

Levine warned Pennsylvanians that we’re in for a rough winter.

“This right now — this November, December, January, February — looks like it’s going to be the peak time in terms of transmission of Covid-19,” she said.

Holiday gatherings in December, clearly pose a danger, she said.

The only light at the end of this seemingly endless, dark tunnel is the promising news of vaccines on the way. Although a depressingly high number of Americans say they are unwilling to get vaccinated, the number who will has climbed steadily over the last several months with almost 60% telling Gallup they intend to get a vaccine when it becomes available. That’s up from about 50% in September.

The mind-boggling thing about this entire pandemic is that by even the most optimistic projections, which have American immunizations beginning at the end of the month, we’ll all have spent just about an entire year dealing with Covid-19. It will be 12 months working at home, limiting or even ceasing to visit friends and family, staying home from school. And that is for those of us lucky enough to have not lost our jobs or loved ones.

It’s been a difficult nine months and the next three could very well be the worst. Resisting the urge to gather, to forgo the wearing of masks and to simply stop dealing with the daily diligence required to keep ourselves and other safe, is going to be a tall order.

With the end in sight, though, we just need to keep the practice up for a little while longer. Covid will be kicked. We just need to hang on a little longer.

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