Facing the Reality of Covid-19 is Less Scary Than Wishful Thinking
Donald Trump continues to deceive his followers with false hope — “a vaccine before you know it” is his latest ruse
The happy talk from the White House is hurting Americans who are being led to expect miracles, like a vaccine by Fall, rather than face the challenges head on. With thousands of people dying every day, cases climbing across the country, and an economy frozen for lack of a commitment to a safe reopening plan, false hope isn’t our friend.
The idea that the end is in sight, that the economy is ready to rebound, and we are close to having packed Alabama football games, will prolong the virus, the death toll, and our misery.
It is true that two vaccines are in human trials. But we need to tell the difference between hopes and prayers, and things we should plan on. We make many wrong decisions by thinking in terms of weeks and months, instead of a year or years.
If you listen to Tony Fauci, who leads vaccines for the NIH, he always adds the words “best case” to his answers. And when Trump is not around, Fauci follows “best case” with “12–18 months”. Meaning we could still be working against this enemy in 2022.
It’s true that there is a vaccine in human trials in the US and it’s true we could even be in parallel manufacturing soon — while we wait to test it. But it’s also true that this company has never made a vaccine before and that their type of vaccine (RNA) is promising, but new.
Injecting the virus in hundreds of millions must be done safely. And importantly, even if the vaccine works, it’s dosing is safe, and it’s side effects minimal, the immunity could potentially be 30–40% like a flu vaccine, not 97% like measles. Sadly the vaccine likely won’t be available to everyone including some of the people who need it most — like people with significant immune system issues. A combination of a partially effective vaccine and many being excluded could mean social distancing significantly into the future beyond a vaccine.
There are 6 other vaccines in process but of the seven, only two of the developers have actually made a vaccine before — Pfizer & Sanofi. These will take longer…