It was just over a year ago we were told to stay at home.
This month has marked the one-year anniversary of the novel coronavirus’s massive impact on life in North America.
Emergency orders were declared, schools and businesses were shuttered, jobs and lives were lost, and life changed in ways you may have never expected.
But things are changing. We know a lot more now, and it’s easier to drum up a positive outlook without being accused of wearing rose-colored glasses. Let’s examine some of the progress that has been made in the past twelve months.
Masks and social distancing work: Researchers learned that maintaining a roughly six-foot distance from others and wearing a three-layered mask can substantially reduce the risk of transition.
Experts suggest that people can effectively go about their day with little risk if they are properly wearing a mask and staying relatively distanced.
The virus is transmitted through breath: I’d never disinfected my groceries before March 2020, and I’m sure you hadn’t either. Thankfully, we no longer have to. Doctors have identified that virus spreads mainly through respiratory particles and droplets, and risk is very low for transmission in inanimate objects.
That doesn’t mean you should stop washing your hands, just that you don’t need to handle groceries and other packages like they are biohazards.
A person doesn’t have to be sick to spread the virus: Most people that get COVID-19 don’t get sick. They might be completely unaware that they have it, yet they can still spread it. That’s why mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting contact are so important.
Doctors are better at treating COVID-19: Doctors have a much better understanding of how COVID-19 affects the immune system, who is most at-risk, and how to treat the condition best. Death rates have dropped drastically in recent months.
Vaccines are here: Effective vaccines were developed in less than a year after anyone had even ever heard of COVID-19. Research suggests they are highly effective, and they are getting into arms at a growing rate.
The effects of COVID-19 aren’t going anywhere for a long time, but the pandemic appears to be improving and even nearing its end. You’re almost there.