At this point, we are quickly heading toward the six-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the amount of loss seems difficult to fathom, we are seeing some general signs of improvement, like the amounts of infections and deaths starting to decrease overall.
However, there are still things to note on the horizon. For example, areas like university campuses are proving to be new hotspots as their school years start. In addition, there are growing concerns about the winter flu season coinciding with COVID-19. So, as we approach half a year in the new normal, here’s a current state of events.
Being a novel virus means that we don’t know as much about COVID-19 as say, the flu. However, we do have more knowledge of how to reduce transmission. So, why are settings like university campuses being a new hotspot for COVID now? There are quite a few different factors in play in this regard. In some cases, it’s behavior amongst the population. In other cases, school administrations weren’t holding to policies as strict as needed due to cost or resource issues.
While college campuses may be dominating the headlines now, the truth is that anyone can learn from these lessons. People may have pandemic fatigue from listening to the news and taking protective measures. However, that doesn’t change the imminent threat. Because flu symptoms are so similar to COVID-19, the coming season will make testing and triage even more important. This means that PPE, hygiene, and social distancing aren’t going anywhere. What people are hoping for as the next major breakthrough is widespread testing solutions. These will help catch those ever-elusive asymptomatic spreaders.
What’s Coming Next?
What is the next option in terms of testing and protection? While we don’t know for sure, the ideal option for avoiding the current testing bottlenecks is something that’s cheap, convenient, and fast. Yale University is currently developing a saliva test that could be just that solution. The main benefit here is not just that test results come quickly, but that the tests require materials that hospitals are already likely to have on hand. Of course, this still needs to go through more trials and be rolled out throughout the country before we see those benefits.
For many people, the advent of a proper COVID-19 vaccine represents the light at the end of the tunnel. However, while a vaccine is crucial, it won’t necessarily solve the issue of curtailing an existing pandemic. The vaccine still needs to be rolled out around the country, but there is also a deeper issue going on — mistrust.
Because of the political bend that the pandemic response has taken, especially in the U.S., only 42% of Americans said they would get vaccinated for COVID-19 in a July poll. There are a few nuances behind this response. There are some who are naturally opposed to all vaccines, as well as others who fear that an unsafe vaccine could be rushed out for political/economic gain.
Without trying to feel like a herald of doom, even as we see advancements and silver linings, the COVID-19 challenge still needs to be taken seriously. Not only do we need the treatments and vaccines to be developed, but distributed and administered before we will truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, everyone still needs to keep an eye on advances in testing, virus behavior, and prevention measures to stay safe.
Advancements in vaccines and treatments are ultimately going to be what take us out of COVID-19 pandemic conditions. However, just because we are seeing progress in these areas doesn’t mean that we can stop being vigilant. Taking steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is essential, and that means using tools like self-attestation while we wait for the completion of a vaccine and its rollout. Options like the COVID-PreCheck from covidprecheck.net are the ideal assets here. Visit covidprecheck.net or use it from covidprechecks.app.
How does this work? If you have a business or even a personal social engagement coming up. You can have people use the app to perform their own self-assessment or report a negative COVID-19 test. When the app is updated to show they have tested negative, they get a personalized QR code as a result. This makes it easy to confirm that people don’t have COVID-19 before entering a shared space.