Episode 24: What We Know
Now that we are several months into this pandemic, we are entering a phase that many doctors and researchers are worried about. Let’s take a look at where things stand.
Cooler weather lies ahead. COVID-19, survives longer in cooler temperatures. Colder temperatures means we will be living more of our lives indoors where transmission can happen more easily.
“We haven't done a good job in messaging how dangerous this is. People understand if they drink and get behind a car, that is a danger to somebody else. It hasn't connected to that level,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “And why? Because we have been sending mixed messages to the public, quite honestly.”
Other factors that are cause for concern, surveys show Americans aren’t doing the best job of wearing masks, the flu could soon be joining COVID-19 potentially putting extra strain on hospitals and a vaccine will not be the instant route to normality that so many are hoping for.
“This is a fantasy. I really do not anticipate that a vaccine will flip a switch and send us back to the way things were before. I think that's a false hope,” said Dr. Paul Pottinger, the director of the Infectious Disease Training Program at the University of Washington.
Pottinger is confident vaccines will happen, but says they may only be 50 percent effective and will take months to distribute around the world.
In this episode of Transmission, we take stock of where we are in this pandemic and remind ourselves of the tools we have available to keep this virus at bay.