With the tremendous calamity of 2020 behind us, many questions arise as to how we can safely turn things around in 2021.
The legacy of the COVID-19 aftermath is a growing toll of over 400,000 casualties. Hospitals are at capacity, and personnel to support those facilities have been stretched thin.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.
The COVID-19 Vaccines
To date, the FDA has approved two vaccines, one from Pfizer/BioNTech and one from Moderna. They are extremely effective but, they are also in high demand and supplies are limited. Understandably, priority has been given to two groups: healthcare workers and people 65 and older, the more at risk.
The vaccination of both approved shots is a two stage process. The second dose is administered 21 – 28 days after the first shot depending on which one you receive. It takes another 14 days for full efficacy (94.1% – 95%). So out of 300 million people, a few million vaccinated people might be subject to infection.
Even after you have received both doses of either vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people continue to wear masks and avoid close contact with others.
So, what should we do?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
2020 taught us that social distancing and PPE make a difference. In recent months the coronavirus has developed a few new variants that have proven to be even more contagious. These new developments makes PPE for everyone even more imperative now, and potentially needed for the foreseeable future.
Since the vaccination process is moving forward, more and more people will feel brave enough to go out and about their daily lives. As exciting as it is to make dinner plans with friends at a local restaurant, we still need to be reminded to take proper precautions.
If you manage a facility, office building or other business offering services, it is advantageous to help your patrons stay safe. Use visual aids when directing people and/or traffic flow, as well as floor stickers reminding of social distancing protocols. We have a few examples if you need inspiration.
Most people know the “rules” so why not make the friendly reminder, just that… friendly. ThermoPro offers custom displays in unique shapes so you can share your safety protocols easily and in an attractive way. These highly effective colored installations can communicate your service and or message to your clients or potential customers. Learn more about the various shapes and sizes.
PPE and Other Reopenings
Among other places, many people are wondering if schools will reopen and what it will look like. A recent study from Tulane University show the effects of schools reopening. The study revealed no negative effect on hospitalization rates as long as schools are safely following PPE protocols.
Travelers can expect many changes and improvements in 2021. As airline companies begin seeing passenger levels increase, some airlines may opt for negative testing prior to flights. Some states and countries require a negative test result 72 hours prior to arrival. However, many uncertainties remain as to how that data will be reported.
Other travel industries, such as cruise lines, are taking more time before getting back to large scale commercial travel. As companies decide the safest and best way to reopen, we hope to see an increase in people following safety protocols and regular use of PPE.
The vaccines are an exciting step in the right direction of ending this pandemic. However, getting vaccinated does not mean one can forego other safety protocols; it isn’t a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.
Currently, it is still unclear whether or not someone is a COVID-19 carrier even if they have immunity. The vaccines efficacy is based on preventing symptomatic COVID-19. It’s tempting to relax safety protocols and stop social distancing but we aren’t there yet.
Check with your local pharmacy, state Department of Health or local county board of health on current testing information and vaccine availability. Whereas COVID-19 vaccines are available, act fast, there may be waitlists. Either way, wash your hands, keep your distance from others, and wear your PPE.