Health care expert Aaron E. Carroll says in his latest column for The New York Times that a vaccine is no guarantee that life will return to normal anytime soon.
Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine wrote,
“It would be better to prepare for a difficult 2021 and be surprised by its being easier than to assume things will be easier and find life is still hard.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint. Both, though, require running.”
Carroll warned that Americans will need still to take pandemic precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing, well into the new year because it’s “very unlikely” that a vaccine to combat COVID-19
“will be a game changer.”
There are too many unknowns, Carroll argued, such as how long a dose would provide immunity for or whether the vaccine could be produced to scale and distributed to those most in need.
“It is much more likely that life in 2021, especially in the first half of the year, will need to look much like life does now.
Those who think that we have just a few more months of pain to endure will need to adjust their expectations. Those thinking that school this fall will be a one-off, that we will be back to normal next year, let alone next semester, may be in for a rude awakening.”
The director of the CDC again urged Americans to wear face masks as much as possible and stressed their effectiveness in containing the spread of the coronavirus, in contrast to Trump’s lax attitude toward masks.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
“These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have, and I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings. I have said if we did it for six, eight, 10, 12 weeks, we would bring this pandemic under control.
We have clear scientific evidence they work and they are our best defense.”
Redfield said that masks may even be more effective than a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because it may be 70%, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me.
This face mask will.”