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When will we get our lives back? Return to normal life after COVID-19. 2
That comes to the next question. You are an expert in vaccines and global public health, Professor Omer. More COVID-19 vaccines are now approved, distributed. When will we get our pre-pandemic lives back? What key factors affect this path to normal life for the United States and certainly for the world?
So it will not be like an on-off switch. It will be like a dimmer switch. I am from the optimistic camp. I think we will get our lives back. We will have a new normal. Some things will always be different [after COVID-19]. And that happens all the time. But that doesn’t mean that we are pointed towards a dystopian future. It will be gradual. The big variable is these new COVID-19 variants. The current COVID-19 strains, including the UK one, seem to be susceptible to the vaccines that are in the market. The South Africa COVID-19 type has a mixed picture. It’s not necessarily that it’s not susceptible. But even if it’s less susceptible, there is usually some efficacy against these kinds of COVID-19 variants. But we’ll have to see how far these kinds of COVID-19 variants spread. The good news is that a combination of COVID-19 vaccines and other public health measures are, if implemented well, can work and, and have been working in the UK, even in the context. So they are decreasing their COVID-19 rates recently after the holiday surge, even in the presence of the new variant. So it’s good news, bad news story. And I think if we ramp up our COVID-19 immunization program, things will be better by June, especially in terms of reduction of COVID-19 mortality, death. And the reduction of death will come before the reduction in COVID-19 infection rates. So that’s one thing we should keep in mind. And the reason that will happen is because of the focus on higher risk groups for COVID-19 mortality for early vaccination. In addition to health care workers, which are exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we target with COVID-19 vaccines high-risk people in long-term care facilities. We vaccinate the elderly precisely because we want to ensure that the older individuals who have high COVID-19 mortality are protected. So that will decrease mortality before there is a drastic impact on COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 infection goes up and down through season and other factors as well, but through COVID-19 vaccination, Then after summer, as things warm up a little bit more. And as people are outside, things will improve. But I think we should start seeing signs of normalcy as we know it in the fall. And then I can say with more confidence, more than the short term timeframe, that 2022 is likely to be better than 2021, and 2021 is likely to be better than 2020.
That’s an important message of hope that I think a lot of people need right now. Yeah, I think things are getting better. Things are bad, but they are getting better. And so there are signs for hope. But there are signs of caution as well in terms of new COVID-19 variants and so forth.
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