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Staying optimistic on the anniversary of the shut down

Remember when this was all supposed to be a two-week shut down? Everyone seemed so optimistic at the beginning. People took time to indulge in their hobbies, making sourdough starter kits, writing music, catching up on all the shows they never had time to watch. All of this under the assumption that they only had a couple of weeks until everything returned to normal, then those weeks turned into a couple of months, those turned into half a dozen, and now, in a few days, it will be the anniversary of the initial shutdown. However, there are increasing indications that we’re near the end of it all, that the pandemic is slowly coming to an end.

Along the way, everyone lost their initial optimism. People are even questioning if things will ever go back to normal and not without good reason. This virus is unlike anything most people have seen in their lifetime. As a country, we’ve lost over 500,000 citizens, and many of us have lost too many friends and family members. But we can and will get through this. 

As of today, new cases are a third of what they were two months ago. Death rates have also decreased. If that isn’t enough to instill a little optimism, take a look at the progress made with vaccines. At the beginning of President Joe Biden’s administration, he set the goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in office. He then changed the vaccination goal from 100 to 150 million Americans. As of right now, from estimations from the CDC, 77 million or 10% of Americans have been vaccinated. If kept on the same path, the administration will surpass its goal.

It seems ages away, but things could be back to feeling normal as soon as the fall or, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, as late as the beginning of 2022. All of this isn’t just speculation. There is an attainable end to the pandemic within sight.

2020 taught us not to get too ahead of ourselves. Any time I suggest that the end of all this isn’t far out of reach, someone reminds me that I shouldn’t get too excited because things could always get worse. Things can and will get derailed. Or, worst of all, life may never really go back to normal. Just because it can get worse doesn’t mean we should assume it will. We can hope for the best and prepare for the worst, so let’s do it. For now, to make sure we reach the end, we must all do our part to help move things along as we have been. We got to where we are for a reason. After all, you wouldn’t stop running right before you finish the race. Wear your masks, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, and most of all, stay optimistic. We’re almost out of this.

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