New Year, Same Pandemic

New Year, Same Pandemic

Michelle Morgan, Editor-In-Chief

It may be the first quarter of a new school year, but the same pandemic that has taken hold of the country since early 2020 still has us wrapped around its disease-ridden finger. With about 219 million documented cases, Covid-19 has caused around 4.55 million deaths worldwide.

As of early last month, about 51.1 percent of the United States’ populations have been given at least one dose of the vaccine. In order to have herd immunity, the percentage roughly needs to be between 70 and 90 percent of people fully vaccinated. Obviously, the United States is making progress, but still has a ways to go.

The vaccine with the most credibility thus far is the two-dose Pfizer vaccination. There are currently three vaccines available in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. Pfizer is available to people aged 12 and older and has one of the highest efficacy percentages. It is being studied for children aged five to 11 currently. Overall, it has minimal symptoms, and hardly any bad effects for those who get the shots. The Moderna vaccine is available for people aged 18 and older and is similar in that it has relatively low side effects. It is now being studied for use in children aged five to 17. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is in a little bit of a different situation, being used as an emergency vaccine for people aged 18 and older.

Mask mandates are still in place in many places in the country, and with schools starting up to over a month ago, many school districts are enforcing mandates to help reduce the number of cases and quarantined students. This is especially important because there are many new variants of Covid-19 emerging and spreading that are becoming more vaccine resistant, so nationwide mask mandates may be making a return whether we like it or not.

Get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay calm, and stay safe.