First, there’s the virus’s evolutionary rate: It is commonly said that coronaviruses pick up mutations at a tenth the speed of influenza viruses
no matter what SARS-CoV-2 does in the future, the fallout from America’s year-long failure to control it will continue. On the surface, the country will seem to heal. But even as schools begin to operate normally and social life resumes, scars newly reopened will widen, while wounds freshly formed will fester.
Health-care workers, to start with, “are beyond fatigued,” said Lauren Sauer of Johns Hopkins Medicine, who studies hospitals’ surge capacity. “People have been doing this for almost a year without backup.” Each COVID-19 peak has sapped more energy and morale, and afterward, fatigued health-care workers have had to deal with a backlog of postponed surgeries, as well as new patients who have been sitting on their medical problems and come in sicker than usual. In the current surge, as hospitals have bulged with up to 120,000 COVID-19 patients, nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists have faced the most grueling conditions yet.
they’ll form clusters, because vaccines are unevenly distributed
vaccine skepticism spreads among friends and families
decades-long underfunding of public health.
emember the people who sacrificed to keep stores open and hospitals afloat, the president who lied to them throughout 2020 and consigned them to disaster, the families still grieving, the long-haulers still suffering, the weaknesses of the old normal, and the costs of reaching the new one.
approved in less time than many experts predicted, and are more effective than they dared hope
many will coincidentally have heart attacks, strokes, or other problems soon after their shots.
hoax or a nonissue,
y suspicious of the vaccines and the broader medical establishment after regularly receiving discriminatory care, hearing about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, and seeing family members die of COVID-19.