When will life be back to normal?
Let’s face it. We are tired. I am tired too. I’m tired of not embracing my friends. I’m tired of not going out and only eating the food I cook myself. I’m tired of not traveling or not conducting work meetings in person. The sacrifices are worth it, but it has been demoralizing for all of us, and let’s be honest – it feels like it’s been FOREVER. But it hasn’t been forever. Just a half a year of soul-searching and character-building. But it helps to have an end in sight. So, when WILL this end? Here’s my messy, but hopefully realistic, estimate:
Based on the information we currently have (keeping in mind, the information is always changing), we hope to have a vaccine by December of this year. It is then projected that we will have about 700 million doses by April 2021 of said vaccine. It will likely be that many people will not want the vaccine right away due to trust issues (more on this in a future post about the safety of vaccines). So, even if we could vaccinate everyone within the first few months, due to delay by many skeptics, we likely will not have the required amount for herd immunity until the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Therefore, in reality, by the time enough people are vaccinated so that there will be enough impact to start thinking about nearing normalcy will be in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2021… and that is pending availability of a vaccine by December of this year.
So… time will tell. This is just my best estimate (not a medical opinion, just an anecdotal estimate), based on the data (that is always changing!) on when we may get back to a sense of normalcy. How long will the immunity (and thus, normalcy) last? This will be addressed in a future post!
But for now, having an estimate helps me cope… knowing that this won’t go on forever. Sure, it may not be as soon as I want, but waiting until next year is *not* forever. And until then, let’s continue doing what we know works: socially distancing, washing our hands, and wearing masks. And when the time comes, we will be well-positioned to take on our 2021 normalcy with good health and embrace our friends with strong, COVID-free arms.
Love, Dr. Yang