Raymond J. March
Nearly 13 months after the first confirmed Covid-19 infection in the US, President Biden held a memorial as the country surpassed 500,000 deaths attributed to the pandemic. Mourning a great tragedy, President Biden noted these casualties surpass the lives lost during WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War combined.
While alarmingly high fatalities signify a time of immense suffering, recent developments suggest the worst of the pandemic may be behind us. Covid-19 fatalities, cases, and hospitalizations are decreasing. Many universities plan to offer more in-person instruction during this fall. Texas ended its lockdown and mask mandate.
Some of these promising signs can be attributed to vaccination. According to the Wall Street Journal, over 100 million Americans have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine. Although the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines require two injections spaced two weeks apart, studies confirm that one injection provides effective immunity. Even as Covid-19 variants begin to appear across the US, t-cell tests confirm that the available vaccines can protect against mutations.
While there are many reasons to be optimistic that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, there have also been several signs governmental powers granted during the pandemic may not return to pre-Covid levels.