Coronavirus Versus Us: Parts I and II
Part I. The year that was for the virus. A lost year for many of us with many inconveniences. No fun with friends and relations. No dining out or parties. No concerts or sports. No travel and no vacations. We were the lucky ones.
For about 500,000 Americans and many more worldwide who died, it was their last year. Their grieving family and friends mourned in isolation. Millions more contracted the virus and suffered. The more scientific predictions of large numbers of infections and deaths were unfortunately on target, at least in America. The ebbs and flows came and went, also mostly as predicted, as the pandemic impacted the elections, education, employment, and entertainment. That most colleges and sports made it work as well as they did with online attendees was a surprise. A bigger surprise was the Wall street which just shrugged. Perhaps the biggest surprise was our collective realization that essential workers were indeed essential!
Part II. After the year of the virus, vaccination is here. It is time to convince the skeptical public to get behind it. Can you imagine an implausible vaccination advertising campaign featuring President Trump and President Biden, both of whom are vaccinated? Putting altruism aside, there is much to gain for each of them politically. The former President can indirectly remind people of his fast tracking of vaccination efforts and the present President can take credit for getting the shots in our arms. Such a campaign perhaps will have a bigger impact than almost anything in uniting America in the fight against the virus. Even more than a campaign with sports superstars.
When in the company of our vaccinated friends and relations, maybe our lives will be back to normal. But there are many unknowns in the fight for survival between the virus and us. We do not yet know how long the current vaccines will stay effective or what variants might force us to get more shots. It is unclear if those who have been vaccinated can carry and transmit the virus to unvaccinated others. Will we continue need masks if we are in crowded places? Perhaps. Good luck trying to convince anyone of that!