The Pathway to Freedom From Covid-19

Posted on December 3, 2020

So, the pathway to freedom is here. After 10 months of upheaval and uncertainty, we can see a route to freedom with the announcement vaccines are coming to the rescue. It’s a remarkable achievement and a vital one too, as there appeared to be no simple end to this crisis.

However, there are potholes along the way. Distribution, anti-vaxers and the time it will take to push down the R rate would, it appears, mean that normality will take some time to be restored. Obviously, I am not an epidemiologist, but a lady on the radio summed it up well.

“In June, we were planning to climb Everest. On November 9th we reached base camp and today, we start the journey”.  I like that analogy, as it is both encouraging and sobering. It is a realistic take from an expert on where we are right now.

The Vaccine Programme

From what I have read, it seems that Covid-19 will always be around. However, this, lest we forget, has always been about the NHS not being overrun and potentially, collapsing under the weight of an excessive R rate. When the R rate is high, the old folk die.

With the vaccine being a two-part system over a three-week period, followed by another week before full immunity, basic maths says the first people to be immune will be around mid-January. It must mean that with a fair wind and Serco/Dido Harding kept well away from logistics and storage, spring will bring a return to full normality?

It seems not. I was thinking that once all the vulnerable and elderly were sorted out, we could just crack on, as the NHS will then be safe from collapse. From what I heard from another one of the damn experts this morning, the plan is to stop transmission altogether. The idea being to vaccinate everyone over eighteen years old (trials for children are ongoing and they are very low risk) leaving the virus racing around trying to find unprotected folk and dying out when it can’t.

When Does Normality resume?

So, on the basis that they think they can do one million vaccines a week, this process will take about a year. So, whilst 2021 will almost certainly be a better year than 2020, it does leave a question mark over how normal summer festivals and sporting events will look. The Olympics and The Euros will be strange without spectators, but I guess we are used to strange.

What we do know is that with every risk group removed from the equation, the restriction on normal life will become less stringent; so that must be good news. That Van Tam chap said on the radio this morning that Covid-19 has been a game of two halves. We were 1-0 down but have equalised in the 70th minute and are now in search for a winner with the danger of getting caught on the break.

If nothing else, 2020 has been a great year for analogy lovers. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go to penalties.

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