I don’t know about you, but I now see light at the end of the tunnel in our long battle against COVID-19. With a pair of very promising coronavirus vaccine trials, I am more confident than ever that travel can resume in earnest by the middle of 2021. But we now face a bleak winter and should prepare ourselves accordingly.
Great News: Another Successful COVID-19 Vaccine Trial
This morning, Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine trials were 94.5% effective. The news comes on the tail of Pfizer’s similarly positive announcement a week earlier. Within weeks, Moderna will seek emergency FDA approval. If approved, by the end of the year over 60 million doses of the two vaccines may be available. The Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage like Pfizer’s, which will make it even easier to distribute.
More information here.
Travel Will Return With Coronavirus Vaccine
A vaccine is not our great savior, but an effective vaccine, especially as time goes by, will prove essential in re-opening borders. Testing and masks will still stick around for quite sometime, but a vaccine will also .
I realize I am on the optimistic side, but I am hopeful that we will continue to see clinical breakthroughs around the world and that the vaccine will not just be a hot commodity for those who are well-connected or rich, but accessible to all who want it.
Perhaps in this era we will finally shift from yellow physical vaccination cards filled with stamps and handwriting to an electronic vaccination card (much like my negative COVID-19 test in Germany).
But First A Bleak Winter…
Not so fast, though. While the future looks brighter today, we still have to get through the northern hemispheres winter. While I strongly question whether lockdowns are the answer, we are in for a lot more pain before healing.
Newly reported cases are surging and deaths figures are again creeping up. If hospital beds fill up again, avoiding shutdowns is going to be virtually impossible.
Now is the time to rally together as a nation and as a world to take the sort of precautions necessary in order to minimize the spread of the virus. I’m not talking about locking yourselves in your basement. But avoiding unnecessary gatherings and contact is a reasonable start. We’re still figuring out how the virus spreads, but we know there have been so-called super spreader events. We can all do our part by taking sensible precautions during this period of (hopeful) transition and waiting.
Good news today. I’m heartened by the brilliance of the human mind in overcoming enemies both visible and invisible. But we’re not out of the woods yet…we still have a dark winter to get through. I’m not telling you to stay home (because I’m certainly not), but let’s all be mindful in our interactions with others and take reasonable precautions to get us to a point in which we can once again freely fellowship and travel.