Everyone’s quick to get back to normal. The pandemic has resulted in more social isolation than anyone anticipated. From masks to social distancing, many are simply over it – and the restlessness is being seen as the infection numbers are on the rise once again.
For a while, it seemed as though the numbers were going down and the pandemic was going to be a distant memory by the first of the year. Now, Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is identifying that it could be 2022 before “normal” comes into play again.
As a member of the White House coronavirus task force, he said that it would be the end of 2021 or early 2022 before there was normality in the United States.
Much of it is going to come down to the availability of a vaccine and how long it will take for people to move forward with getting themselves vaccinated. Many people are going to take a “wait and see” approach with the vaccine to ensure that those who get it first are getting the medical rewards that are promised.
It can take six to nine months before the majority of the United States is vaccinated, which would put us into the third or fourth quarter of 2021. How effective the vaccine is and how many people get vaccinated will impact how long it takes to resume normality, too. If people don’t rush out for the vaccines, it can slow the process dramatically.
In the spring, many assumed that the coronavirus was a political stunt. It was a way for the Dems to blame something on Trump since the economy was doing so well. The problem is that COVID-19 is a global concern – and countries like Italy and Germany are going back into lockdown as a way to deal with it.
So, why isn’t the United States going into lockdown? Americans aren’t used to being governed that way. The more restrictions that are placed, the more likely people are to go against them – and that can lead to even higher infection rates than what is being seen right now.
Dr. Fauci warns, though, that “you cannot abandon public health measures.” The reason is simple – the vaccine won’t be perfect and not everyone is going to take it.
So, masks and social distancing are likely to follow us into 2021 and beyond. As the vaccine becomes more mainstream, it will be possible to “gradually” do more things – like have spectators at athletic events, allow occupancy at theaters, and have restaurants open to full capacity.
As for the masks and limits on congregations? “That’s going to take a full year,” Dr. Fauci says. The public health restrictions will be lifted gradually – and until the country is able to go a significant period of time with no new infections, it is likely that there will be some set of restrictions still in place.
What does this mean when it comes to elections? Whether Trump is reelected or Biden gets into office, they’re going to have to deal with the pandemic. The problem is that the Biden campaign isn’t talking about how they’re going to help ease the country out of the pandemic. The only thing they’ve managed to say about COVID is how Trump is handling it wrong.
If Biden is going to follow in the footsteps of any of the Democratic governors, like Whitmer or Newsom, we can expect a full lockdown with a number of restrictions to our movement. Businesses could be closed back down and the economy could collapse entirely.
Now that Dr. Fauci has given us a realistic look into the next 12 to 18 months, Biden better start talking about a plan as to what he would do to get the country out of the pandemic because no one wants a Whitmer-style lockdown.