Whether or not we have another shut down, the virus is here to stay.
It’s been months since March 11, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. During that time, the election brought up key questions of how the newly elected president will handle the spread. Cases have continued to spike throughout rural America, and we’re right at the grim milestone of 10 million cases. It’s expected that within the coming winter months, COVID-19 will be the worst we’ve seen. Thanksgiving and holiday social gatherings are the tip of the iceberg for what is to come.
And yet even though we have our President-elect, the question still remains.
President-elect Joe Biden said he’ll tackle the pandemic with the help of science and experts. Biden stated that his COVID-19 Advisory Board, which includes former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former General Surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy and Yale University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
That’s good, but one problem remains: the time from now until January.
By the time Biden takes office, I’m afraid of the devastation COVID-19 will have wreaked across rural and urban America, even more than it already has. The Trump Administration is going to need to implement a more aggressive approach to the pandemic in order to lessen the blow of case spikes from now until Biden’s inauguration. On Monday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that a vaccine with 90 percent effectiveness is on its way.
That’s great news. Sort of.
The distribution of a vaccine across millions of Ameircans is something that has been questioned for months.The massive amounts of needed immunizations at such urgency has many wondering the game plan for its execution. Even the reliability of a vaccine has been debated, which is completely fair. Many people have shared concerns over the rapid development of a vaccine and questioned its safety. This leaves many wondering how well it works and if they’ll develop problems with their health over time. So, sure, there’s a very exciting and promising vaccine, but the logistics are unknown, but the pandemic’s track record isn’t.
According to leading scientists, the outbreaks are just going to get worse.
Biden and Kamala Harris have released a step-by-step plan of how they intend to tackle the pandemic.
One of the main elements of his proposed plan is highly increased testing.
While there have been comments circulating over whether Biden will shut down the entire country, which I doubt he will, protection of our country and its people is no longer a political debate. It’s simply a public health crisis. Over 9.97 million people have contracted COVID-19 with more than 238,000 deaths, and it’ll only get worse.
However, Biden said his advisory board will “help shape [his] approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective and distributed efficiently, equitably and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” But I am more interested in how he plans to implement these changes so tangibly.
I, for one, am not a high risk or even an at-risk individual. People I personally know who contracted the virus were taking sips of hot sauce and bites out of onions laughing at their lack of taste and smell.However, the fact I am not in any imminent danger, doesn’t negate my ability to spread COVID-19. If that means protecting my uncle with Down syndrome from being wrecked by a completely avoidable circumstance, I’m all for whatever is necessary to protect others.
Regardless of who you voted for, this is no longer a dichotomy of science and politics. It simply boils down to patriotism and fighting for our country and one another. We’re at war, not with a “who,” but with an “it.” There is no need to be at arms with one another over the legitimacy of what facts have already proven. The experts have already projected the worst, but also the best. We can slow the spread of the virus together, as one nation and indivisible.
Irrefutably, this virus is here to stay. It’s just up to us to decide how we proceed from there.
Kaelin Connor is a psychology junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.