After nearly a year of quarantine, Zoom school, and a lack of social interaction, cases are finally dropping. It feels like the end is officially in sight, especially with the recent release and steady distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. As for Los Angeles County, an incredibly positive 2,415,460 first doses have been given, with over 800,000 second doses as well, according to the Public Health Department.
Because of this progress, many schools have begun to slowly integrate back onto campus, even if it is only a couple times a week. Additionally, many theme parks and museums have begun to reopen as well. Restaurants are able to operate outdoors as well as bars, allowing small businesses to reopen and get back into it. Almost all of this is due to the steady decline in new cases, mainly through the goal of herd immunity, which is when most of a population have a vaccine or are immune and are thereby able to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated. Hopefully, we can reach this goal sooner rather than later and be allowed back to our ‘before March 2020’ type of normal.
Currently, as of March, 10, we have entered into the potential red tier. If we can stay at this percentage of cases, we have a chance of officially dropping down from purple. This current system consists of, “a four-tiered, color-coded system that tracks counties by the number of Covid-19 cases recorded each day and the percentage of positive cases out of the total number of tests administered, both averaged over seven days,” EdSource writes.
Additionally, the sharp decline in deaths and hospitalization points to further progress, coinciding with the steady drop of confirmed positives. If we can keep up at this rate, we could potentially be back into much of our previous normal lives in a matter of months, or even weeks.
For a broader perspective outside of LA, the National Public Records state that “More than 72 million doses have been administered, reaching 14.6% of the total U.S. population, according to federal data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. is currently administering over 1.6 million shots a day.”
Considering a high rate of doses hadn’t truly started until a couple months ago, these staggering numbers should cause great excitement, as the dose-per-day ratio will only continue to increase with extended availability. Furthemore, the recent Super Bowl and Presidents Day weekend did not affect the case rate, even with the unsafe gatherings that undoubtedly took place.
As for the vaccine itself, few serious side effects have been thus far reported, with the most common being fatigue or headaches. Hopefully, we can continue rolling out the doses, and allow all of us to return to our safest version of normality soon as possible.