Americans who are too frightened by COVID-19 to venture out much or are committed to wearing a mask and living a socially distanced life until a vaccine for the virus is developed may have to get used to being hermits.
Because the chances that an effective (key word, there) vaccine is going to be developed anytime soon are slim, and that’s according to the country’s lead immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Yes, we know, Fauci’s been wrong about a lot of things regarding the novel coronavirus but here’s why we think he just dropped a truth bomb on the country: 1) Viruses are notoriously difficult to map and then kill via vaccine; 2) The influenza vaccine that is given every year by the tens of millions of doses is only between 50-60 percent effective year-over-year, on average; 3) There have never been vaccines for the last coronavirus outbreaks (MERS, SARS); and 4) The swine flu vaccine rushed into production without adequate testing (which takes years) was dangerous and caused harm.
From the start of the pandemic and through the intervening months, many experts and commentators have insisted that regular, pre-pandemic life will never return unless a vaccine is developed and deployed throughout most of the world. Scientists for months have been scrambling to develop a vaccine in a lightning-quick timeframe, with numerous trials currently underway across the planet.
Fauci himself has repeatedly stressed the need to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine. Yet during a Brown University webinar on Friday, the doctor said the eventual vaccine’s effectiveness could be as low as 50%, something FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has signaled would be an acceptable floor.
“I’d like it to be 75 percent or more,” Fauci said on Friday. “But the chances of it being 98 percent effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach.”
And in case you were wondering, ‘never abandoning the public health approach’ means perpetual social distancing, masks, and angry Americans up in peoples’ faces who don’t practice these two things.
But will we accept this ‘new normal?’ A lot of that will depend on location and geographic region, but also how much of an economic effect such ridiculousness will have on, say, businesses who are suffering from lack of customers who are offended by mask rules and mask-shaming and would rather order online from the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
Just The News adds:
It is not clear if Fauci was suggesting that coronavirus pandemic mitigation measures would have to remain in place forever or if they might eventually be relaxed regardless of the vaccine’s effectiveness.
The timetable for developing the COVID-19 vaccine has been extraordinarily shortened compared to standard vaccine development. International AIDS Vaccine Initiative President Mark Feinberg said in March that the “traditional vaccine timeline is 15 to 20 years,” and that health officials needed “new approaches” if they planned to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine in less time than that.
There are already places around the country – mid-Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, the entire state of South Dakota, and others – that don’t cater to mask Nazis and mandatory fun-free social distancing rules. If things ‘stay the same,’ then those places will see massive growth.
Meantime, folks hanging around waiting on a vaccine might start paying more attention to Sweden, where people have begun to leave the pandemic behind and live their lives again after never having shut down.