It may be hard to imagine at this point, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is hopeful that we will, one day, return to a world without masks.
It has been going on for almost two years and Dr. Rochelle Walensky is well aware that the pandemic is far from over.
However, she also believes that it’s not something we are going to have to deal with for the rest of our lives.
One of the main indications of the COVID-19 pandemic going away is when the hospitals will no longer be completely overtaken by COVID cases.
The daily death number significantly going down is a great sign as well, of course!
While talking to ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Walensky shared that “We have gotten pretty cavalier about 1,100 deaths per day. That is an extraordinary amount of deaths in a single day from this disease. We can’t — I cannot — be in a position where that’s OK.”
At this point, US public health experts are using hospitalizations and deaths to monitor progress since it’s actually more reliable than the overall number of positive infections.
Furthermore, scientists are moving away from the concept of herd immunity as they learn more about the virus.
It no longer seems realistic to expect the virus to just disappear when a certain number of people become immune to it.
Instead, they seem to agree that mild breakthrough cases will most likely still occur even among those fully vaccinated.
With that being said, even in a world where most of the population is vaccinated, COVID-19 is still not going away completely, becoming more similar to the seasonal flu, however.
Just like with the flu, some people would still experience complications, would need hospitalization, and even die.
The death numbers would be much lower than 1,100 daily, however!
The CDC reports that around 65 percent of all eligible American citizens are fully vaccinated at this point.
As vaccination numbers go up, deaths and hospitalizations are bound to go down and CDC data already proves this to be true since unvaccinated people are no less than 14 times more likely to pass away from COVID and 11 times more likely to need hospitalization upon testing positive.
Walensky is still hopeful, however, that at some point, we will no longer need to wear masks!
“Masks are for now, they’re not forever. We have to find a way to be done with them,” she stated during the interview.
The best way we can move toward that goal is simply to “lean in” to the strategies we know are efficient, Walensky stressed.
For the time being, she encouraged the public to trust science and trust the process.
“Science is hard in a two-minute soundbite. Know that every decision — as hard as they may be — have been grounded in science.”