[Ed. – The more we stay on course, the sooner the pandemic will be visible only in the rear-view mirror.]
Even as the pandemic retreats, we won’t eliminate all Covid infections, but we can make sure that major surges in hospitalizations and deaths don’t recur. One key indicator to track is whether stress on the healthcare system remains low. For a full year, officials have been trying to ensure that hospital use doesn’t reach crisis levels. Now, the goal should be for hospitalization rates to resemble those associated with routine infectious diseases. Combined with better control of seasonal flu which burdens hospitals each winter, Covid transmission can be suppressed to manageable levels.
Stepping up vaccinations is the most critical step. Supply is increasing, and the pace of vaccination needs to increase as well. Last week, for the first time, there were days when the number of second shots delivered approximated the number of first shots, so we still have room to expand distribution.