Vaccines Are Putting COVID on the Run
It’s been more than a year now since Saint John’s residents and the rest of the world started battling the COVID-19 pandemic. For much of that time, most of us were required by law and common sense to isolate in our homes. We’ve all logged too many hours in front of TV screens and electronic devices while our circle of friends and family dwindled to a trusted few.
Like you, fear for our safety kept us from enjoying or experiencing everyday tasks – from grocery shopping to eating out, going to the gym or browsing our favorite stores. Instead, our stress and anxiety skyrocketed, fueled by the uncertainty about when the pandemic would end. We all craved a distraction, a place to escape, relax and feel “normal” even if for a brief moment.
Now, we can happily say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are here, and COVID is finally on the run! More than 61 million U.S. citizens, including many residents at Saint John’s, have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson. Some 32 million – or about 10 percent of the U.S. population – are fully vaccinated, with two million more joining this group each day.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is loosening restrictions, saying people who are fully vaccinated can socialize with others who are also fully vaccinated without concern of spreading the disease. They can also mingle with those who have not been vaccinated as long as those people are in what are considered “low risk” groups.
For the first time, hugging your grandchildren is fast becoming a reality. Venturing out of your residence to enjoy a meal or a small get-together is becoming acceptable. The risk of contracting COVID is dropping by the day as immunity broadens through vaccines.
That’s not to say we’re out of the woods or that pandemic is no longer a concern. It is. We still need to adhere to the basic protections we have followed for months – wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing. Even as spread of the pandemic slows and immunity grows, we need to continue to act responsibly.
But, at the same time, we can rejoice in the fact that the end is in sight. The road to normal is shorter than ever. There is ample reason to be happy about the promise of what life holds in the months ahead.