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I’ve heard all the words of caution, and I’m sure you have too.
The vaccine won’t be a panacea!
It will take time to make it available to everyone!
Even with a vaccine people will still get infected!
All of that is true. It’s also no excuse for continuing societal restrictions for one second after the vaccine, which now appears very imminent, is approved for distribution.
The one about it not being a panacea is the silliest warning of all. A panacea, by definition, is a drug that can cure basically anything.
Of course the COVID vaccine isn’t a panacea. It’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to cure one condition – COVID. If it does that, no one will criticize it for not curing hives.
But the rest of the warnings are equally silly.
We shut down society in the spring because we were looking at a deadly, fast-spreading virus for which there were no known antibodies and no vaccine. It was overwhelming hospitals who didn’t know how to treat it, and couldn’t even protect their own workers from getting infected.
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Basically, hundreds of thousands of people were at risk of death and we didn’t have the slightest idea what to do about it. For lack of a better idea, we basically told everyone to hide.
None of those dynamics are still in place today. Even before the vaccine becomes available, doctors are much more aware of the best treatments to use early on in the process.
The virus is still with us, and it’s still claiming lives, but at nowhere near the level that would call for the drastic measures we undertook in the spring.
Once a vaccine is approved, even if it can only be distributed to the highest-risk people, that still makes it very plausible to let everyone else return to their normal lives.
There is much less risk of causing an at-risk person’s death because at-risk people will be among the first to be vaccinated.
It may be true that some low-risk people will suffer serious cases and could even die, but such a small risk of a small number of deaths – while tragic – doesn’t justify stopping the normal workings of society.
When the vaccine is available for widespread distribution, that would obviously be the time when everything should go back to normal. But even when the vaccine is first approved, that is enough of a change in the game to remove all restrictions.
The restrictions have gone on long enough, and we no longer need them to keep COVID from ravaging society. Any of them. Not for one more second.
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