SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– After a year of COVID-19, we are recently hearing for the first time, doctors seeing a potential “end date” for COVID-19.
This doesn’t mean the virus will be gone, but that enough people will be vaccinated to get enough immunity, that we can resume a somewhat “normal” life.
“I don’t think we’ll ever go back to a year and a half ago,” said Dr. Robin Trotman, with infectious diseases at CoxHealth.
That may sound scary, but here’s why Dr. Trotman said it’s a good thing.
“What I mean by the new normal is people are going to be more mindful.,” said Dr. Trotman. “We have no influenza. Why do you think that is? Have we ever had an influenza season when we had 0 cases? The answer’s no. Wearing masks, and people staying home when they’re sick really helps. SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease COVID-19 is not going to go away. It will hopefully become like the rest of our coronaviruses, it will be a common cold bug, but they don’t end up in the hospital and they don’t die. I feel like a large weight has been lifted off of our healthcare system.”
Dr. Trotman said around summer is the time to look forward to, as long as vaccine uptake continues.
“We know that these mRNA vaccines keep people out of the hospital,” said Dr. Trotman. “It’s really impressive, compelling results.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts the same.
“I said if we get the majority of Americans, 70 to 85 percent, vaccinated by then we can have a degree of herd immunity that can get us back to normal,” said Dr. Fauci. “The best-case scenario, if it were for me, is that we would get 85% of the people vaccinated by the end of the summer. If we do, then by the time we get to the fall, I think we can approach a degree of normality.”
“We haven’t seen any signals of any serious adverse events,” said Dr. Trotman. “So I’m encouraged, every month that goes by, the argument that this vaccine is safe becomes much easier.”
Dr. Trotman is hopeful about what our “new normal” will look like. Especially when it comes to education.
“Schools have always encouraged kids to come to school no matter what, absenteeism was frowned upon,” said Dr. Trotman.
“Initially, everybody gets so used to, oh, I’ve just got a little bit of a headache, they really weren’t thinking about the significance that that might have,” said David Hall, director of university safety at Missouri State University.
Hall also expects the university’s new normal to look like what Dr. Trotman said.
“We would expect it to be more normal than what we’ve had in the fall or in the spring semester, and yet at the same time, we also know that it will not be fully back to a normal experience,” said Hall.
“We’re going to try to avoid large crowded spaces, when we do, we know we’re going to have a mask,” said Dr. Trotman.
“We’ll see many people volunteer to wear a mask,” Hall said. “Things like washing your hands more frequently, that’s probably going to be in society for many years to come.”