A rumor started flying in Texas this weekend that we’d see another lock down in the face of rising Covid-19 spread when a former judge and Jefferson County district attorney as well as assistant US Attorny for the Eastern District of Texas posted to Facebook that the governor had texted him it was time to stock up on essentials again.
I don’t think this is going to happen. Here in Texas we’ve mandated masks, closed bars, and brought restaurants back down to 50% capacity. If that doesn’t control growth in the virus – and I don’t see the state taking active measures to reduce spread, just to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed – then additional incremental measures might be taken, although in fairness the governor has used another lock down as a threat in hopes of getting mask compliance.
Still the situation here, and in other states including Florida and Arizona, isn’t great for travel or airlines (or people!). American Airlines has a hub in all three of these states by the way, and Los Angeles which has also recently surged in confirmed cases.
I’ll admit I searched online for products that became tougher to get last time, and was thrilled to find Amazon had Fantastik Disinfectant spray which its manufacturer lists as one of its cleaning products suited for Covid-19.
I’ve already got a contactless thermometer and a pulse oximeter (to tell me my blood oxygen saturation – a key indicator I think whether my family will need hospital care) and based on some still speculative research I’m taking vitamin D as well as K2. And need I mention that good toilet paper is available again?
I’m an optimist. I believe we’ll be more or less back to normal less than a year from now. I believe that some of the vaccine candidates show real promise and will actually be available this winter. And that before then we’ll see more promising therapeutics on top of what we already have that seem to be helping with better patient outcomes.
However just because we have vaccines doesn’t mean they’ll be completely effective – somewhere between 40% – 60% seems most likely – and it doesn’t mean they’ll be available everywhere in the world broadly so quickly. Pfizer thinks they’ll have a billion doses by the end of next year in conjunction with BioNTech for one of their candidates, and China is already effectively doing a forced stage 3 trial by vaccinating their military. But there may still be coronavirus hot spots, which’ll make medical evacuation coverage an even better idea than usual when making far-flung travel plans for 2021.