What is life going to be like after the vaccine? This is a question that is leaving billions of Americans wondering about their future. How long before everything returns back to normal? Will I finally be able to restart my life and get things back on track? What will happen with all the relationships that were put on hold during quarantine?
This article is not going to answer those questions, quite frankly because everyone has their own, unique worries right now. The future is unknown and that’s something that the world has to process throughout the duration of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 caused death, misfortune, and poverty across the globe. Some will look at their own quarantine experiences with disdain and regret, while others may take a more optimistic view, reflecting on how they’ve grown stronger over the past several months. But everyone has questions about what comes next.
Many are asking themselves how much longer they will have to keep wearing masks, socially distance, and postpone major events. While there is no concrete timeline, breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as the contributions of several pharmaceutical companies, are speeding up the process of developing and distributing vaccines across the nation.
Back in December, the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were looking increasingly promising each and every day.
Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity, and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
These words instilled hope into everyday Americans, longing for positive news.
Now, in the month of February, according to an article written by Jemima Mcevoy, 25.5 million people (around 7.7% of the overall population) have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Moreover, only 6 million people have gotten fully vaccinated; a small percentage of those who had access to it according to the New York Times article titled “How New Vaccine News Gives Hope for Spring, if Enough People Get the Shots”.
This group, however, does not include everyone who needs it, like those of lower socioeconomic status. Another major issue Americans are facing is those who are not willing to take the vaccine. The privilege of being vaccinated is a hard one to come by, especially so early in the distribution phase, but there are some who have concerns and uncertainties about side effects.
After the vaccine, the situation in which we interact with one another will undoubtedly change. Even though re-starting one’s life back up again will not be the easiest task to do, there is always support that one can fall back on.
Harriton offers counseling services and mental health professionals, which is a great resource and opportunity to seek help when needed. Asking family members or friends for support to get through these trying times is another great option.
As global citizens, it’s important to widen your perspective and to think about how COVID-19 has dramatically affected those around you, but especially those all over the world. Take a step back and ask your friends, family members, peers, and teachers how they are managing and offer consultation. Remember – we are all in this together.
There are still so many important questions left unanswered. Was quarantine a new opportunity to be able to grow as individuals or did it strip us of previously planned opportunities? Especially for high-schoolers, summer is a time in which one optimizes their free time to have important experiences, from travel to pre-college summer courses, summer abroad programs to SAT camps.
Many Harriton students and others, however, feel that they have lost time, but maybe it’s time to look at these past months as periods of growth: growth as individuals, as family members, as loyal friends, and even as diligent students who have worked hard to learn even under the circumstances.
The experiences we had during COVID-19 will remain with us. And though everyone’s experiences are different, after the vaccine arrives, everyone has a chance to rebuild their lives, and even change them for the better with the skills of connection we have learned throughout the pandemic. Even when life is back to normal, the important aspects that we missed during the pandemic, or learned to see as special, can be highlighted in our normal lives.
When remembering these challenging times in the future, think about how COVID changed your life. Maybe the pandemic was a period of darkness, but from darkness, there comes light. Whatever the case, there is always a way to see hope instead of despair, and even now in the thick of things, life after the vaccine is something positive to hope for.