The virus has wracked havoc on the world for over a year now. And fortunately, it does look like covid is abating somewhat in the US, although there are pockets like the state of Michigan where covid is on the rise again. Vaccines have helped as have some of the public health mandates like masks. If you don’t believe me, not that cold/flu incidence appears to be down 98% in the winter of 2021 – really masks and hand washing work. But we knew that, or at least health professionals have been trying to tell us this. The good news is that it looks like getting together, while an ongoing concern – we still see spikes) are going to permit a more “normal” Memorial day, 4th of July and summer.
Testing verifies this also. Testing has taken several forms but one of the more interesting is wastewater. Covid survives in wastewater. Lift stations are the best place to take samples because you get a nice mix. The results tend to portend the rise in covid incidence – when the numbers tart to increase, the actual cases start to rise about two week later. FAU has been doing this testing for six months. The cases were limited in the fall until November, then climbed quickly. The number fell over the holidays (no students after thanksgiving, then increased after the first.
Biden exceeded his goal of 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days, and everyone having access by the summer. In part that is fueling a return to the new normal. Schools will likely include continued simulcasting and businesses will continue to zoom, but more normalcy is coming. Now most states will vaccinate those over 16 but all evidence points to the fact that boosters will be needed in the fall.
The question has been how will the winter flu season be in 2022. In 2021 the flu season was 98% below “normal” – that looks like social distancing, handwashing and masks. IF we continue will that perpetuate the slower spread of flus? The covid crisis cannot recede fast enough. I think we all want a return to the new “normal,” which will include being able to go out to dinner, movies, plays, sporting events and concerts.