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Vaccine trials do not mean that safety guidelines are a past trend


With COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reaching record totals nationwide, people are turning to the positive results of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials as their last resort for a return to normalcy.

Two vaccines have shown promising results in their preliminary rounds of data. However, this does not mean the pandemic will end soon and it certainly does not mean safety guidelines are a thing of the past.

The key to defeating the virus must take place on a micro-level. Wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings are a few of the crucial precautions everyone needs to take to ensure the upcoming months do not result in the bleak outlook currently being projected.

The past several months have demonstrated that when these guidelines are followed nationally and globally, case totals and deaths decrease.

During the spring, when a vaccine was only a pipe dream, New York City went from being the United States’ virus epicenter to having one of the lowest case rates in the country by adhering to stay at-home orders and wearing masks in public.

Although the positive efficacy generated for both vaccines is encouraging, the FDA approval and distribution of the vaccine will take several months. The best-case scenario has one or both vaccines being widely distributed during the spring.

With the current state of the country and the world, these months without the cure will be dark and haunted by unprecedented numbers of deaths.

To battle this, we must continue to abide by safety guidelines and not completely abandon them just because a vaccine is potentially on the horizon.

While this seems simple, people continue to promote false remedies and insinuate that COVID-19 is a hoax.

Citing the creation of a vaccine as an excuse for not following safety guidelines from top scientists has been characteristic of millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump, whose apathy towards controlling the virus is the biggest reason why the United States has lost nearly 250,000 lives and is currently on the precipice of having one of the deadliest winters in history.

The uphill climb out of the pandemic starts with us.

Taming the virus starts with listening to science. Everyone needs to be responsible this holiday season. Safety guidelines should be obeyed until a vaccine is definitively proven to be effective and made accessible to all.

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