Promising COVID-19 vaccines are increasing, with Oxford-AstraZeneca announcing its vaccine average of 70% efficacy, joining Pfizer’s 95% and Moderna’s 90% results. This is renewing hope for many, but while we wait for these vaccines to be finalized and distributed, people need to continue adhering to social distancing guidelines.
In the past week, the United States has recorded more than a million cases, with November’s total positivity reaching 3.3 million people thus far, and the average number of daily cases reported reached 173,000, according to The New York Times.
Despite the promising vaccine results, people cannot get comfortable and disregard social distancing measures.
The statistics are supported with evidence of Americans ignoring social distancing measures. The argument that colder weather has led people to spend more time indoors is true, however, people have still chosen to be in close proximity to others outside their immediate family. These types of actions are dangerous and selfish.
It is selfish because ignoring social distancing measures for the sake of personal fulfillment, thus putting others who may have pre-existing medical conditions or older people at high risk.
Holidays such as Thanksgiving have led people to justify their large gatherings with the fact that it has been at least eight months since they have seen friends and family. But just one interaction with someone who may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 can cause a domino effect of other individuals contracting the virus. This is especially true when in big group settings.
Understandably, our friends and family are important to us, and it is hard to go without seeing them, yet what should motivate us to maintain social distancing is the fear we could be responsible for someone’s hospitalization or even more fatal repercussions. Although it is a grim thought, it is a reality for many people throughout the U.S. and the world.
The news of Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and now Oxford-AstraZeneca’s effective vaccines are being produced is great. Conversely, the increase in cases is not, so that means that we must be vigilant in social distancing and taking other precautionary measures to reduce the significant positivity rate, while we wait for an effective vaccine.