March 4, 2021

Increasing speed

I enjoyed my free evening last night and was able to check some chores off my list. I have to say that it was an adjustment after writing every evening for a year. I missed it! That doesn’t mean I will start writing every day again, but it does mean I will keep writing a few times a week. It helps calm me and organize my thoughts, which ultimately helps me sleep better by turning off my brain.

Plus I appreciate all of the thanks and well wishes from many of you. Being compared to Heather Cox Richardson is a true honor. For the few of you who don’t know who she is, she is an American historian who writes a daily summary of events that helps many of us make sense of the challenging times we live in. She is brilliant and somehow I feel reassured even when she writes the most frightening analysis.

Even after a year, there is plenty to write about. This time last year, we were just starting our shutdowns and hand washing. No mask wearing yet. I am truly astonished at the scientific advances and collaboration that has occurred in the last 12 months. Not just with vaccines, but the knowledge of how to care for critically ill patients and other prevention efforts. The death rate has dropped- more ill patients are surviving, even though overall numbers have risen and deaths are still at a high level.

We could have done better as a nation, we should have done better as a nation. We certainly would have had fewer deaths. With a new president, the situation is brightening. More vaccines are getting into arms. We are now averaging two million doses a day. Biden has secured enough vaccine to immunize all willing adults starting late May.

He did it in a creative way. Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved but is unable to meet the production of the doses it promised would be ready now. This is disappointing and frustrating. Many people have been waiting for it to be approved. Merck, another pharmaceutical company, entered the Operation Warp Speed vaccine development push, but stopped when their vaccine candidate failed in its goal. They had been gearing up to manufacture vaccine and then had to step back from the plan. The Biden administration was able to broker a plan between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to have Merck help manufacture their vaccine to meet the production goals. A win-win for both and for us.

Even then we are not quite ready to give up the masks, until more are vaccinated. This article explains it well. Just a little while longer.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and be grateful for science and collaboration.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.