At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans, while frightened, took comfort in the false hope that the pandemic would end in a matter of weeks. Couples postponed their spring weddings until the summer, school districts made plans to allow students to return for the end of the year, and many companies allowed their employees to work from home fully believing that this remote work would be temporary.
This wishful thinking could not have been further from the truth.
While many thought that everything would return to normal within a few short weeks, the pandemic has continued to take a toll nearly a full year after states first started requiring lockdowns, and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Since 2020, the United States has seen over 26.5 million positive coronavirus cases and over 447,000 deaths. This pandemic has wreaked havoc in the U.S., and experts predict that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Despite the best efforts of those who have been working non-stop in order to prevent the relentless spread of the virus, COVID-19 is here to stay.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Last for the Long Haul
“We really do need to learn to live with the virus,” says Dr. Kevin Kavangh, a member of the Infection Control Today’s Editorial Advisory Board . Kavangh cited concerns about COVID mutations and achieving herd immunity as major reasons behind why he feels that Americans will be battling the virus for the long haul, even as Covid19 vaccines are becoming more widely available.
Although he believes the coronavirus vaccines will still be effective, “it is unlikely that we’re going to totally eliminate the virus.” Kavanagh notes, “it’s going to be kind of like the flu in that it can mutate and come back, although maybe not mutate quite as fast as the flu. It’s unlike the flu, in that it affects every organ of the body” .
People in the United States also need to consider the fact that even if there were not the potential mutated strains of the virus, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 the majority of Americans would need to receive the vaccine in order to achieve herd immunity. Until more people are willing and able to get this vaccine, reaching herd immunity is not plausible. “We’re not going to have everybody taking the vaccine,” Dr. Kavanagh says. “If we all let down our guard and let down our ability to fight off the virus by not getting vaccinations, we may go through this again a decade from now” .
This idea was echoed by Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, one of many experts who believes that COVID-19 will become an endemic disease . When speaking at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, he claimed, “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever .
A top World Health Organization official, Dr. Mike Ryan, claims that in spite of the devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, “it’s not necessarily the big one” . Ryan, who serves as the executive director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program adds, “If there's one thing we need to take from this pandemic with all the tragedy and loss is that we need to get our act together. We need to get ready for something that may even be more severe in the future” .
This concern is largely due to the new variants of the virus that have been discovered in the United States over the past couple of months. While Moderna has been one of the pharmaceutical companies leading the way with a successful COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna CEO Bancel knows that this vaccine is not enough to eradicate the virus. According to Bancel, “the coronavirus that has brought world economies to a standstill and overwhelmed hospitals will be around ‘forever’ .
Furthermore, the United States has not placed enough emphasis on other ways of combating the virus. As Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has also stated that the worst of the epidemic is yet to come, other experts are coming forward to push for a stronger, more imaginative response from the United States when it comes to fighting the virus .
On Fox and Friends, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a pulmonologist at NYU Langone, addressed Dr. Fauci’s concerns stating, “things are going to be worse if we’re not changing our approaches” .
Ahmed advocates for rapid antigen testing and cleaning indoor air, explaining that “rapid antigen testing tailors quarantine” and finding ways to clean air, especially in areas with poor ventilation, can slow the spread of the virus .
Whether it is due to the new mutated strains, the difficulty of achieving herd immunity even with a vaccine, or the lack of inventive measures to fight against the virus, COVID-19 will not be eradicated anytime soon.
The SCONE™ Can Help
With COVID-19 continuing to devastate the United States, and experts warning that the harm we have seen so far could be just the beginning, the United States is in need of a solution that can prevent hospitals from becoming overcrowded and ensure that hospitals are able to provide adequate healthcare to their growing number of COVID patients.
Thanks to its use of negative pressure technology, the SCONE™ is truly the future of healthcare.
With the SCONE™, healthcare workers can treat patients quickly and safely without needing to convert areas of the hospital into COVID units or negative pressure rooms. The SCONE™ provides an active barrier of protection that prevents infectious droplets from entering the atmosphere outside of the barrier, preventing the spread of COVID, protecting the indoor air from contamination, and keeping healthcare workers safe while they provide patient care.
While the United States will be battling COVID for years to come, tools like the SCONE™ will help hospitals maximize throughput and slow the spread of the virus.
Let's talk about how we can bring the SCONE™ into your facility.