In a September interview, U.S. President Joe Biden stated: “The pandemic is over.” This comment, while not without controversy, echoed what so many want to believe, that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us and that it is time to return to “normal.”
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States today is vastly different from where we were in 2020 and even during 2021. The number of new cases has substantially decreased and, thankfully, hospitalizations and deaths have also dropped. These very real improvements are due to remarkable scientific progress in prevention and treatment innovations combined with sustained efforts of individuals and communities to do their part. This includes the wide availability and utilization of testing — particularly rapid self-testing — access to vaccination booster doses offering protection against newer variants, the development of effective treatments to reduce the severity of illness, and other preventive measures such as effective masking and distancing during times of surging transmission.
Thanks to these public health interventions, it has been increasingly possible to return to a pre-pandemic norm for many people in this country. However, even as we acknowledge the progress, we must keep in mind the current reality, the tenuous status of the global pandemic and the implications of shedding all caution at this point in time.
Read the full article published at The Hill.