Public Health

Reflect on the pandemic to assess how we can truly recover

Surmountable Social Issues
Mar 9, 2023
6 min read
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially frontline responders / Pexels

Issue 59 • Week of March 5, 2023

Our world changed forever three years ago this week as the work-from-home experiment started to finally take the pandemic seriously days after the first US citizen died from COVID-19.

Since then, over 1.1 million of our friends and family have succumbed to the virus – killing a higher percentage of the US population (0.334%) than WWII (0.307%) and resulting in almost twice the number of deaths than were counted as combat fatalities from all of our past wars combined. Our country is stubbornly short of our target for full vaccination (68% with a goal of 70%) and only about a quarter of Americans have received the recommended booster. Yet over 500 people are still perishing from COVID-19 everyday, unvaccinated people remain 14x more likely to die than those who are up-to-date on their shots, and vaccinations are 5x more effective at preventing hospitalizations than a prior infection.

Officials and business owners repeatedly tout a return to normal, but we know that life will never quite be the same, just like after 9/11. The economy alone has been set back two and a half years.

Had the pandemic been positioned nationally from the outset as a war that we were all fighting together, perhaps we would have adopted a more resilient mindset and permanently adapted instead of taking temporary measures that have repeatedly backfired. Instead, we fought over toilet paper and now the majority of us are understandably suffering from pandemic fatigue.

How can Americans more effectively respond in the future?

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