State of the Pandemic

State+of+the+Pandemic

Alex Whipkey, Editor

On Tuesday, Governor Holcomb gave a speech outlining Indiana’s plans going forward. The biggest news was that beginning March 31, all Indiana residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The mask mandate will also be lifted on April 6 and a mask advisory will go into effect, but K-12 schools will be required to wear masks until at least the end of the school year. Masks are still recommended, and businesses will still be allowed to require masks.

 

Indiana local governments will be able to decide capacity and social distancing standards. A six-foot distance is still recommended, but not required. Holcomb also recommended that all schools open full-time and in-person this fall.

 

On a federal level, new stimulus checks were sent out by the government this month. The new checks are for $1,400 per person and people making under $80,000 or married couples making under $160,000 qualify. The stimulus checks will arrive without any action, but you might have to be patient as the money will take some time to arrive.

 

The long winter of the pandemic appears to over with new cases and deaths down across the board. Much of the damage has been blunted by the extremely rapid pace of vaccinations in the US and the world at large. A few weeks ago, President Biden stated that the nation was on track that there will be enough vaccines produced to vaccinate every adult in the US before the end of May, which is a step up from the old prediction that it would happen at the end of July.

 

Indeed, the US is now averaging about 2.5 million shots per day. According to the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html), more than 80 million people have had at least one dose of a vaccine. President Biden set a goal to have administered 100 million vaccines before his 100th day in office, which happened on his 59th day.

 

Hopefully, with all of these new developments, we are finally approaching the end of the pandemic. It will surely be a while still before life returns to normal, but the race to herd immunity and the lifting of pandemic restrictions paints a hopeful picture of this summer.