As COVID-19’s second anniversary comes and goes, there is some reason to celebrate as it relates to the ongoing pandemic—cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all going down. Also, all 50 states have lifted, or are in the process of lifting, COVID-19 restrictions. This has caused many to believe the answer to the often asked question of ‘when can we get back to normal’ may just be ‘any day now.’
However, like most things in life, this is still not entirely clear.
Though the numbers have plummeted, they’re still very much present. In fact, each day, approximately 30,000 Americans are still hospitalized from COVID-19 with more than 1,250 deaths.1 Also, there are increasing reports that many Americans are experiencing long COVID—lingering and persistent effects from a prior infection, which can include fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, and cardiac issues.
Also, while the BA.2 subvariant has not made significant landfall in the U.S. just yet, it is currently spreading in other parts of the world, and at a rate that appears to be much faster than Omicron. While initial studies suggest that this variant isn’t more likely to lead to hospitalization than Omicron, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on and another sign that we have certainly not yet reached the end of the COVID-19 road.
And probably not leaving…
Like the common cold or the flu, most experts agree that COVD-19 is here to stay—in some form or fashion. This means COVID-19 is still an active infection. And while we would all love to officially put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, we can improve the situation and learn how to live with the virus. The key is early detection and rapid response, which is why the current administration just rolled out its National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Focused on ensuring Americans have access to the public health tools they need to stay safe—vaccines, treatments, tests, masks—the federal government is committed to helping keep us safe as the country begins to transition back to normal. And over time, these tools and our national response will only get better.
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