Life After Covid: When Can We Begin Making Plans?

Life After Covid: When Can We Start Making Plans?

The United States took a step closer to getting back to normal this week with the first Covid vaccinations of healthcare workers across the country. While the majority of Americans don't get their shots until spring, the introduction of the vaccine is a hopeful sign of better days. We have Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and several epidemiologists and health and science writers from The Times asked about their predictions for the coming months. Here's what they had to say.

“Do it with zoom. Don't let Junior come home and kill Grandma. Think of it like World War II – our soldiers couldn't fly home to eat turkey. My father was in Normandy. My mother was with the Red Cross in occupied Austria. You missed the vacation. Life went on. There were happier years later. “- Donald G. McNeil Jr., Health and Science Reporter

"I'm not. I don't know about you. I said this many, many months ago and the papers were wild about it. I'm sure people will shake hands again. I think people will probably care about personal hygiene and des." Protecting yourself. That doesn't mean no one will shake hands again, nor does it mean that everyone will go back to how we did it again. Probably somewhere in between. Some people will be reluctant to shake hands . Some people will wash a lot more hands than ever before, even if Covid-19 is gone. "- Dr. Anthony S. Fauci

"When I'm vaccinated and everyone is around me." – McNeil

“Employers have the right to force their workers to vaccinate once a vaccine has been officially approved. For example, many hospital systems require annual flu vaccinations. However, employees can request exceptions for medical or religious reasons. In such cases, employers must make “reasonable accommodation”. With a coronavirus vaccine, a worker may be able to wear a mask to the office or work from home instead. “- Abby Goodnough, National Health Correspondent

"If the level of infection in the community appears to be significant, you will not have parties with friends in congregation settings. If the level of infection is so low that the risk is low, you will go back to the normal congregation, have parties and do so. If we want to get back to normal, my message comes: if the vaccine is available, get vaccinated. ”- Dr. Fauci

“I think travel will become easier because you get a lot less. I think it will be gradual. There is no black and white, light switch on, light switch off. "- Dr. Fauci

"When you get herd immunity where there are no infections, you don't have to wear a mask all the time. You may want to wear it when you're in a crowded situation, but you wouldn't have to have the stringency that you do now Ultimately, I think that you need to move from wearing it all the time to wearing it under certain circumstances so that you may not have to wear it at all. "- Dr. Fauci

"First of all, it is expressed by the number of new cases you see – the test positive number. You have to go as deep as you can. The best number is zero. It will never be zero, but anywhere near that is great." Dr. Fauci

“It depends on the uptake of the vaccine and the level of infection in the community. If you go into April, May, June and really put a press on in court and try to vaccinate everyone within a few months as you go from the second to the third quarter of the year then you could probably go to movies, go to the theater, do what they want. However, given what we hear about people's desire to be vaccinated, we are unlikely to receive this level of uptake. If it turns out that only 50 percent are vaccinated, it will be much, much longer before we get back to the normalcy we would like to see. "- Dr. Fauci

“If more than half of the population is vaccinated, I would feel a little less stressed and anxious doing the errands that I normally do. I might actually be comfortable eating at a restaurant one day or seeing friends again, if I can. “- Vijaya L. Seegulam, Research Project Manager at Boston University

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Answers to your vaccine questions

With a coronavirus vaccine spreading out of the US, here are answers to some questions you may be wondering about:

    • If I live in the US, when can I get the vaccine? While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary from state to state, most doctors and residents of long-term care facilities will come first. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help.
    • When can I get back to normal life after the vaccination? Life will not return to normal until society as a whole receives enough protection against the coronavirus. Once countries approve a vaccine, they can only vaccinate a few percent of their citizens in the first few months. The unvaccinated majority remain susceptible to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show robust protection against disease. However, it is also possible for people to spread the virus without knowing they are infected because they have mild or no symptoms. Scientists don't yet know whether the vaccines will also block the transmission of the coronavirus. Even vaccinated people have to wear masks for the time being, avoid the crowds indoors and so on. Once enough people are vaccinated, it becomes very difficult for the coronavirus to find people at risk to become infected. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve this goal, life could approach a normal state in autumn 2021.
    • Do I still have to wear a mask after the vaccination? Yeah, but not forever. Here's why. The coronavirus vaccines are injected deep into the muscles and stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. This seems to be sufficient protection to prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick. However, it is unclear whether the virus can bloom and sneeze or exhale in the nose to infect others, even if antibodies have been mobilized elsewhere in the body to prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick. The vaccine clinical trials were designed to determine whether people who were vaccinated are protected from disease – not to find out whether they can still spread the coronavirus. Based on studies of flu vaccines and even patients infected with Covid-19, researchers have reason to hope that people who are vaccinated will not spread the virus, but more research is needed. In the meantime, everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – must imagine themselves as possible silent shakers and continue to wear a mask. Read more here.
    • Will it hurt What are the side effects? The vaccine against Pfizer and BioNTech, like other typical vaccines, is delivered as a shot in the arm. The injection in your arm feels no different than any other vaccine, but the rate of short-lived side effects seems to be higher than with the flu shot. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported serious health problems. The side effects, which can be similar to symptoms of Covid-19, last about a day and are more likely to occur after the second dose. Early reports from vaccine trials suggest that some people may need to take a day off because they feel lousy after receiving the second dose. In the Pfizer study, around half developed fatigue. Other side effects occurred in at least 25 to 33 percent of patients, sometimes more, including headache, chills, and muscle pain. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign that your own immune system is having a potent response to the vaccine that provides lasting immunity.
    • Will mRNA vaccines change my genes? No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to boost the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slide inside. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus that can stimulate the immune system. At any given point in time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules that they produce to make their own proteins. As soon as these proteins are made, our cells use special enzymes to break down the mRNA. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can only survive for a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell's enzymes a little longer, so the cells can make extra viral proteins and trigger a stronger immune response. However, the mRNA can hold for a few days at most before it is destroyed.

"Once my family and I are vaccinated, I would change my behavior unless I can not imagine being in a crowd or attending crowded events until at least 80 percent of the population is vaccinated." – Julie Bettinger, Associate Professor from the University of British Columbia

"I think the widespread availability of vaccines will lead to further easing of most precautionary measures by mid to late summer 2021." – Michael Webster-Clark, postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The new normal will continue to be masked for the next 12 to 18 months and possibly for the next few years. This is a paradigm shift. “- Roberta Bruhn, Co-Director for Epidemiology at the Vitalant Research Institute

"My relationships with people who took this pandemic lightly and ignored public health messages and recommendations." – Victoria Holt, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington

“When I stay home with my kids, I've learned that life with fewer errands and activities to participate in is kind of good. I think we will reduce our family obligations in the future. “- Jennifer Nuzzo, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins

“I'll keep my mask and wear it in crowds and on the subway, especially during cold and flu seasons. I've been getting sick all the time, but haven't had a cold or sore throat in months. I really don't like being sick become! ”- Tara Parker-Pope, so columnist

"I will not take it for granted to travel to my extended family." – Alicia Allen, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona

"I'll never have to explain what an epidemiologist is ever again." – Janet Rich-Edwards, Associate Professor, Harvard


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