One Year in a Pandemic

Everyone is thinking and writing about the anniversary of the announcement about the Pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. Here is an Pandemic Anniversary writing example from STAT and another from NY Times. My primary thought is how I responded when people asked for my thoughts about how long we would be in lockdown, or what I thought when anyone, including our then President Trump, made comments about the coming end of the lockdown. ‘No, this isn’t going away quickly.’ I didn’t want to discourage people, so I kept it to myself that I thought lockdowns were going to last until there was an effective vaccine.

I stated that conclusion in different words in a Facebook post I did on May 17, 2020:

Life is not coming back to normal for me until the likelihood of getting infected is less than 0.01%. (i.e., 1 out of 10000 people get infected), AND that I am likely to be treated successfully for SARS-CoV2 infection and the overall fatality rate for COVID-19 for people over 65 is about the same as it is for influenza. That means that until there is a COVID-19 vaccine that substantially decreases my chances of infection or a treatment that substantially increases my chance of survival:

(1) I will not be meeting with family or friends unless they stay at least 2 meters (6 feet away from me) and wear a mask, OR they have a very recent test that proves to a 99% confidence that they do not have the infection (the test has only 1% false negatives), OR they have received a vaccine that is proven to be effective at decreasing the chances of SARS-CoV2 infection.

(2) I will not be going to restaurants or cafes (not that I did much of this before COVID-19 pandemic).

(3) I will not be using air or mass transit travel, or attending conferences, sporting events, or other congregations of people.

Any other behavior increases my risk of getting infected more than I consider tolerable. In general this means I will continue isolating as I have been with my wife Agnes for the last two months until there is an effective vaccine and an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Tom Caruso post on facebook, May 17, 2020

This indicated that I was waiting for a vaccine, and I suggested that others might do so as well, without so much as saying this. Though I did not mention it, clearly a vaccine would not be available for at least a year, and my knowledge of vaccine development suggested it would be much longer. Indeed, we are blessed that vaccines have come to market in less than a year from the WHO pandemic announcement, and these are unexpectedly highly protective, though we do not know for how long.

So predictions that life would be coming back to normal soon, even in May, looked rather misleading to me. So I’m not surprised my wife still works at home, and I’m still not fully vaccinated (though I expect to be ready to live again by mid-April, woohoo). It will be many months more before life starts to be less confining for us, with many not yet vaccinated so even a mild case of COVID-19 could mean an infectious transmission from the vaccinated to the unvaccinated that leads to another death. We do now anxiously await that day when both my wife and I are vaccinated, and everyone has had their chance to get vaccinated. At least then travel will be much safer, and we would like to do some of this as soon as possible, for sure.

Author: T.P. Caruso

Retired from a healthcare and biomedical research career and now enjoying connections with anyone interested in history, geneology, healthcare, leadership or consciousness.

One thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.