After 14 months of a “two week lockdown” meant to flatten the curve, Americans are growing restless.
Sure, there is an overwhelming sense that our lives could soon get back to normal, but there is still no real certainty about it. There are variants and vaccine hesitancy issues to deal with still, and now there are concerns that “herd immunity” may never be feasible here in the United States.
Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.
Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.
One of the nation’s top infections disease docs weighed in as well.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Biden administration’s top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts’ thinking.
“People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” he said.
“That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he added. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.”
Fauci has been a controversial figure during the pandemic, having drawn the ire of former President Donald Trump on several occasions before once again taking the reins of the coronavirus task force under the Biden administration.