Covid Endgame: How do we cross the finish line?

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Just a few weeks ago Covid-19 cases were steadily declining. 

Unfortunately, that low didn’t last long as cases are once again on the rise.

Physicians say with cases rapidly rising in Europe, a winter surge is very likely to happen here.

“ Although we have done really well here in the United States, the issue here is that we have less than 60% of the eligible population fully vaccinated. So we still have a long way to go,” says Dr. Dr. Rupali J. Limaye, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Health experts are now saying that people who were vaccinated early in the pandemic may only be protected from every 2 of 3 possible infections. 

With last year’s winter being deadly for our area, many are wondering if we will experience the same devastation this year. 

“ This time around as opposed to last winter, we have highly effective and safe vaccines, new treatments that are coming out more, and a high level of immunity within the population. I do think that we are likely to see the 5th wave, we are already starting to see cases uptick. But that does not mean that we will necessarily see the 5th wave of death,” says Dr. David Dowdy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Health experts say our goal of abolishing Covid isn’t realistic, we should instead be focused on pivoting the virus from deadly to manageable.

“Covid is here to stay. The great news is the game changer is vaccines because they have been able to prevent severe Covid- hospitalizations and death,” says Dr. Limaye.

 “ Everyone wants there to be a Covid end day. A day that we declare this pandemic as over. This is a disease that’s going to be with us for the foreseeable future- it’s going to come and go. The question is…when can we get this to a point where it’s tolerable for us as a society. I think we may be closer to that point than we imagined,” says Dr. Dowdy.

Experts at Johns Hopkins say achieving herd immunity is highly unlikely but decreasing the more serious effects of the virus-   is!

Physicians say vaccinations are still the best method in protecting our community.

 

Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News