What Some Experts Predict for COVID-19 in 2021
2020 was a year unlike any other due to the coronavirus pandemic. From nationwide shutdowns to virtual learning, there were many challenges faced and adjustments made. Many Americans lost their lives to the deadly virus, with the death toll reaching more than 235,000 people. Unfortunately, although we have celebrated the beginning of a new year, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 remains. So what do experts predict for COVID-19 in 2021?
According to the leading experts and scientists, predictions for the pandemic in 2021 remain somewhat of a mystery. Many contributing factors will determine exactly what happens and how the virus will continue to play out.
The novelty of the coronavirus is a major reason it has impacted the world the way it has. Each day something changes, new information is brought to light, and discoveries are made. Therefore, the trajectory depends on what experts learn as time goes on.
Experts have made several predictions about what we can expect in 2021, however:
Current Safety Measures Will Continue
One thing we can count on is that safety measures such as mask-wearing will continue to be encouraged and enforced. Experts repeatedly stress the importance of mask-wearing and physical distancing because those two factors alone majorly reduce the spread of COVID-19. They also help limit the spread of the flu and other viruses.
Other health recommendations such as reducing the size of gatherings, limiting travel, canceling large events, and frequent hand-washing will also continue throughout the year. Experts do not expect a major change to any of the current CDC recommendations at this time. The success of these strategies, however, depends on people’s willingness to follow the recommendations in daily life.
The Vaccine Roll Out Will Take Time
The new Pzifer vaccine has officially begun circulating, but it will take time to properly vaccinate the majority of the country. It will take a significant amount of time and it will be messy as well. The scientific process relies heavily on trial and error, and much is still unknown about the vaccine.
Chief amongst those uncertainties is the vaccine’s true effectiveness. According to Pfizer’s preliminary data, the vaccine could be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, but it still hasn’t been tested independently. There are also potential issues with storing the vaccine as it requires frozen storage, which many places may not be equipped for. Therefore, although there is hope on the horizon, there is still much to be resolved.
The Vaccine Isn’t A Cure-All
Realistically, the vaccine will solve many of the issues presented by COVID-19, but not all of them. Not only will vaccine distribution take time, but there has also been a lot of pushback about the vaccine itself. A large portion of the country doubt the vaccine’s safety and feel that scientists rushed its development. It will be difficult to get the entire population vaccinated at all, let alone within the next year.
Not to mention, a safe vaccine for children is nowhere near completion. The first trials for children ages 12 to 18 began in October 2020, but no trials have started for children under 12 years old. This means that students attending school remain a major risk and possible super spreader of the virus.
Experts are hopeful overall that we will slow the spread of the virus by continuing to follow health recommendations and beginning to distribute the vaccine. Individuals must stay on top of current guidelines and stay in touch with their health resources. If everyone does their part to follow guidelines, there is a good chance that we will end 2021 significantly better than the past year. Ultimately though, time will tell how life will develop throughout the new year.