It looks like first availability of vaccinations is not until summer of 2021.
What does that mean for when life returns to normal?
First availability means the start of vaccinating several tens of millions of people, which will take time.
- Dr. Fauci says, as an illustration, that large sporting events may not be possible (or permitted) until the end of the summer. Or longer, as he suggests we must vaccinate up to 85% of the population before we hold large events suggesting most large, outdoor events would be postponed or canceled through the summer of 2021.
- When you have an epidemic, the first person to call is a software developer: Bill Gates says the next six months to be the worst. He says “summer” will be “way closer to normal” – but big public gatherings will be restricted – and restrictions may continue for up to 9 more months in to 2022.
- The U.S. has apparently contracted for delivery of enough vaccine to vaccinate up to about 200 million people, to be delivered by end of June or July of 2021. This, combined with Dr. Fauci’s comments, implies life does not return to normal until late 2021. (Have done more research and it seems that enough vaccine for 175 to 225 M people might be delivered to the U.S. by early summer of 2021.)
- The music industry thinks outdoor performances will return at some point in the summer of 2021.
- The Portland entertainment venue industry thinks they may not be able to re-open until fall of 2021.
- Pennsylvania suggests not resuming normal life until late 2021 and masks will remain mandatory until the end of 2021.
- In a large survey of epidemiologists, many, maybe most, think life returns to mostly normal during the summer of 2021, but several say we will need to wear face masks for “years” and some even say “forever”.
- The pandemic may end on its own before the widespread availability of public vaccinations.
- Another wild card is the possibility of effective treatments for Covid-19; if available, that would change much.
Based on the above, these are the possible scenarios:
- Life returns to mostly normal at the end of summer of 2021
- The pandemic ends on its own by mid-2021
- Effective treatments become available, bringing most restrictions to an end
- The public says to hell with it and gets on with life.
- Some public health and political officials have implied we must reach for zero new cases and zero new deaths but that is a feat we have not achieved with influenza – and life goes on anyway. Once public health pushes this, we end up at #4.
I have canceled all travel plans through June of 2021 and am 50:50 on an outdoor event in late July. My guess is the organizers of the event may choose, by early spring, to postpone the event to end of August or end of September, based on better information by early spring of 2021.