Updated: Oct 16, 2020
COVID has torn 2020 apart, it's quite hard to keep track of the days let alone any one of the year's catastrophic events. As days blend together, and any signs of reopening economies lead to a subsequent increase in positive COVID cases for the area. The signs are clear, COVID will not relent until each human being on Earth is infected or vaccinated. Its only grace is the disease seems to have a manageable fatality rate, just below 3% according to the US case/death ratio. Yet with no natural immunity, each human being infected will lead to around 234 million deaths worldwide, approximately 9.8 million Americans.
So we desperately await the vaccine that will protect us from the virus. The only way we can return to our normal lives is through a vaccine, which the CDC has estimated will first become available in November 2020, with a more widespread rollout following in February 2021. It's estimated that by July 2021, the majority of Americans will be vaccinated and our day-to-day lives will resume. Yet we still await further news on the vaccines as any prospect of their delay could consequently delay our return normal lives.
With this estimate, we can expect at least another 9 months under partial shutdown. Although if we truly wanted to slow the spread of the disease we would adapt our lives to guidelines set by infectious disease experts. We would write temporary laws guiding people how to live through this scary time. We would shutdown places that did not require spacing at least 6 feet apart and mandate effective mask use.
The United States has done a horrible job at containing the spread of this virus. It's quite indicative of both poor leadership and inadequate systems in place to protect people. The reality is, the United States is a long way from normal. We will likely be back to normal next year, but this virus certainly will not go away on its own.