Will we have a COVID-free summer?


Credit — nytimes.com

Yoav Kovar, Staff Writer

It has been 495 days since lockdowns began in the United States. As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available across the world, people wonder if this summer would be a much needed COVID-free experience. Although the vaccine will probably be administered to a majority of the US population, COVID will most likely remain a threat. Although lockdown won’t be as harsh as 2020, this won’t feel like a pre-pandemic summer.

Worldwide, COVID-19 is currently peaking, this is a huge concern because as infections spread, mutations can render the vaccine less effective. In India, for approximately a week, 300,000 new cases arise every day.  Resources essential for COVID treatment like vaccines and oxygen are scarce in India because of the rapid influx of cases. A major concern for the world is the rate of mutation. If COVID mutates enough in India, certain vaccines could be obsolete or less effective. The World Health Organization states that “while mutations of SARS-CoV-2 are expected, […] any increase in transmissibility associated with SARS-CoV-2 variants could make control more difficult.” However there is hope, mutations are not guaranteed or predictable. Simply, vaccines are still the answer.

The increase in vaccinations is practically exponential, and if over 75% of the population is vaccinated in the US, COVID will cease to control our daily lives. A great example of the effects that vaccines have on a large population is Israel. For the first time since June 2020, zero COVID deaths have been reported in Israel. Israel leads the world in vaccinations, per 100 people, 120 vaccine shots have been administered. “World Health Organization (WHO) experts have estimated that at least 65%-70% of a population need vaccination coverage before herd immunity is reached.” The United States is making substantial progress towards a vaccinated population. They have administered 3 million shots per day for two weeks straight. Although the future is not definite, it is realistic to assume that COVID-19 is on its way out.

Despite COVID’s presence diminishing, this upcoming summer will not be as smooth as pre-COVID. COVID has taken the lives and jobs of countless people, humankind is eager to wipe the virus from the face of the earth. The pandemic has been affecting us daily for over a year now, everyone is fed up. Hopefully, this summer we’ll be able to enjoy that lost time.