We Need to Settle in for the Long Run


Joy Herrera, Staff Writer

More than nine months into the pandemic, the coronavirus has become the new normal for people across the world. However, with this rising sense of normality comes another danger. Pfizer’s vaccine has brought hope to many, but quick results are simply not realistic. The United States continues to experience increases in cases in the thousands every week, with losses continuing to shake millions of households. 

This sense of normality can be harmful as it can lead people to become laxer with their precautionary measures, and therefore put themselves and the people around them at risk. Many prominent figures have also contributed to this feeling of relaxation of safety precautions. In particular, many Los Angeles influencers have thrown parties or even gone out of the country for vacations. Although these often extremely wealthy individuals may provide precautionary measures for their guests like COVID-19 tests or sterilization measures, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommends that there be no gatherings with more than one household. 

Another factor that is also making people relax precautions is the hope that the vaccine brings. However, the vaccine will not be an instant solution. According to Los Angeles Times, only about 586,000 of the two million doses that California received have been administered. This is much lower than the goal of one million doses over this period. This delay was predominantly due to problems in the software that is used to handle the vaccine distribution. There is also a difficulty in storing the vaccine as it is held at around -100° F. This makes storage much less accessible. 

These difficulties for vaccine distribution are ones that should be expected to continue as the demand for the vaccine and the scale of the rollout are unprecedented. The medical system is struggling to balance this while still providing care for patients. As the pandemic stretches on, hospitals are understaffed and overburdened by an influx of patients and a lack of resources as the medical industry is one of the most heavily affected by the virus. 

Despite the need for the vaccine, there are many Americans who are hesitant to receive it. This could prolong the time it takes to fully reopen. According to a Pew Research poll conducted in November, around 39% of Americans said they would not be taking the vaccine once it became available to them. This hesitancy stems from the timeline of the vaccine development with many people wanting to know more about the long-term effects. However, the Center for Disease Control states that most side effects of the vaccine are mild with the most common being headache, fever, and tiredness.

The Biden administration has pledged to administer 100 million vaccines in the first hundred days; however, the administration admits that this will not bring the pandemic to an end. It is important to keep up morale in these difficult times, but at the same time, we must all be prepared to continue exercising precautions to the best of our ability.