What will Los Angeles look like post-vaccination?
Will it go back to normal? Or, will there be a new normal?
Those questions are hard to answer, but things are looking good for now. All three of the vaccines have been proven effective. If we can administer them quickly, things will continue to improve.
Vaccines are imperfect
To be clear, vaccines will not stop Covid completely.
No vaccine is perfect, and the Covid vaccines are no exception. There is still a chance you will get Covid after vaccination. Many people will get Covid after vaccination, but far fewer.
In clinical trials, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were both around 95% effective in preventing symptomatic infection. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was around 72% effective.
All three of the vaccines compare favorably to the flu vaccine. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is between 40–60% effective.
The three Covid vaccines look even better when you measure them against death. All three have been 100% effective against hospitalization and death.
So a post-vaccine Los Angeles will still have Covid, but far fewer hospitalizations and death.
Remember, we don’t shut down our country for the flu every year. So a much more mild Covid will allow us to completely reopen and live more normally.
But how fast will that happen?
The immediate future
The immediate future is looking good for Los Angeles.
California is reopening according to a tier system. As of Tuesday, eight counties advanced from the red tier to the Orange tier. Those counties were:
- Los Angeles
- Santa Cruz
With the move, the capacities for many businesses are rising.
- Movies theaters capacity goes from 25% or 100 people to 50% or 200 people.
- Places of worship, museums, and zoos go from 25% capacity to 50%.
- Indoor dining goes from 25% capacity to 50%.
- Gyms and yoga studies go from 10% capacity to 25%.
- Outdoor sports and live performances can officially welcome fans back. There will be a 33% capacity.
Other than businesses reopening, not much will change yet. We are still too far away from herd immunity to go back to normal.
Masks and social distancing will still be the norm for the foreseeable future.
End of the year (my opinion)
It is very hard to forecast what the end of 2021 will look like. There are simply too many variables.
However, it is worth noting that the vaccination process certainly looks promising. If things continue this way, all businesses should be reopened at or near full capacity by the end of the year.
We should also be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families this year. Though getting tested for Covid before and after the holiday might be necessary if members of your family decline to get vaccinated.
My guess is that masks will still be the norm when shopping or flying. Individual businesses will probably be slow to remove their mask mandates.
5 years from now (my opinion)
5 years in the future is even harder to predict.
My best guess is that Covid will be similar to the flu at that time.
We will have vaccines for both.
Those vaccines will be effective but not perfect.
People will still get infected with both Covid and the flu.
But, most importantly, the death rate will be low enough that we no longer shut down the world for it.
I think masks will largely go away, but probably not completely. I think masks will become the norm when flying and possibly for large indoor events.