Things are getting better in Los Angeles. The number of new cases has been falling for a while now. Also, we have more vaccines than ever before. Los Angeles County has even progressed out of the most restrictive tier (purple)into the red tier.
Being in the red tier means that many Los Angeles businesses can reopen or expand their capacity. This is a massive step towards returning to normal.
The main concern now is taking a step backward. Nobody wants to deal with stricter restrictions, especially not now when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So what can we do to prevent reversing all our progress in the fight against Covid?
Four fundamentals have been shown to slow the spread of covid.
- Wear a mask
- Social distancing (6 feet)
- Wash your hands often
- Get tested if you have been exposed to someone with Covid
These fundamentals are as important as they have ever been, especially if you have not been vaccinated yet.
If you are already fully vaccinated, the CDC has relaxed its recommendations for you. Small groups of vaccinated people can now meet maskless.
That only applies when fully vaccinated people meet. If you are in public, all the fundamentals are still recommended. The CDC has also chosen not to relax its recommendation against travel, even if you are already vaccinated.
The biggest thing we as a country can do to keep making progress against Covid is vaccinating as quickly as possible. The early vaccine rollout in Los Angeles ran into several problems. Thankfully, as of right now, those problems seem to be under control.
There are two more big tests we will face when it comes to vaccination. First, will enough people want to get vaccinated? We can only reach herd immunity if a majority of people get vaccinated.
Secondly, will people take whatever vaccine is available. If people pick and choose which vaccine they want, that can slow down the process.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
There is a misconception that the J&J vaccine is less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I wrote an article about this very topic here.
The worry is that if enough Los Angeles residents refuse the J&J vaccine waiting for another, it will slow down the process of reaching herd immunity.
“All three of them are highly efficacious. They have different characteristics: Cold storage, one dose versus two doses, but if I walked into a clinic and I wanted to get vaccinated and someone said, ‘You can have this vaccine now, or wait a few weeks for the next one,’ the important thing is to get vaccinated as quickly as you can in order to protect yourself, your family, and the community.”
He went on to add that even though he got the Moderna vaccine, he would have just as happily have gotten the other two.
“So I don’t have any favorite. I happened to take Moderna, because at the clinic at the NIH [National Institutes of Health] where I am, that was the one they shipped to us, but if they shipped another, I would have readily taken that.”
To be clear, you are all adults, and I am not a doctor. It is not my place to tell you which vaccine to take. Or even whether you not you should take a vaccine at all. I am simply saying that if you are worried about the three vaccines' effectiveness, you don’t need to be. They have all been shown to be effective.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now is the time to celebrate Los Angeles starting to reopen slowly. But, it is not the time to get careless.
Be smart and stay safe. We can get through this together.