After a year of quarantine, heavy restrictions regarding social interactions and public behavior, and the development of vaccines, America is on the course to recovery from the pandemic. This progress and trajectory towards “normalcy” has led to significant relaxation for a majority of the public. Despite the progress made and the 64 million Americans that have been vaccinated, with another 110 million having received the first dose, experts warn that it is important to still take precautions. These procedures include continuing to wear a mask, maintain a distance of 6 feet away from others, and remembering to sanitize as well as avoid crowded spaces.
When looking at the statistics, it is easy to identify that the third wave of the coronavirus was the most fatal and detrimental. The nation experienced approximately 4,000 deaths every single day. In comparison, the current average number of deaths per day is 700. While that number was expected to only continue decreasing, cases began increasing at the end of March 2021.
This is concerning because vaccinating the most susceptible parts of the population substantially reduced death and hospitalization rates. Yet, new variants of COVID threaten to affect the population much more severely. B.1.1.7. is the variant that originating from Brittain and has led to over 15,000 reported cases in the U.S. Scientists also partially attribute spikes in certain states such as Florida, Michigan, and more to this new strain. Unfortunately, certain people have also experienced symptoms for weeks after they first tested positive. These cases have been labeled as “long COVID.” However, America should be able to effectively combat these developments with the continuation of mass vaccination.
As schools reopen, travel restrictions relax, and the nation attempts to jump over each hurdle created by the coronavirus, everyone should continue taking the same protection measures. It will take the entire country’s efforts to limit the effects of the resurging fourth wave. But, every individual does have the ability to safeguard their own health and should take that responsibility seriously.