Certain feelings have practically vanished since the beginning of the ― the most major is hope.
The past year-plus has been heavy and exhausting, with barely enough time to breathe before the news drops. We are rounding a corner as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths drop, and vaccines become more available.
“Speaking for the U.S., I’m hoping that this summer will be remarkably different from last summer,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “We’re on a good right now, and I just hope we can stay on the path we’re on.”
However, following that path depends on society’s actions, including continuing to follow . It’s also reliant on the unexpected curveballs the .
So, where does that leave us? Below, their expectations for summer 2021 throughout the country based on how the pandemic is going right now:
As more people get vaccinated, there will likely be fewer restrictions
When available, the importance of getting the coronavirus vaccine cannot be overstated: “These vaccines are our way out of this pandemic,” said David Aronoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Timothy Brewer, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, added that as people continue to get vaccinated into the spring and summer, he expects that the Centers for Disease and restrictions.
So, as more and more people get their shots and are protected from , we can expect to safely do many of the activities we’ve missed out on over the past year.
Outdoor gatherings will likely become a safe norm.
“One of the things that we are feeling better about is the data around SARS-CoV-2 transmission and recognizing that outdoor activities have not turned out, as best as we can tell, to be a significant factor in pushing the pandemic forward,” Brewer said, referring to the fact that the threat of is low in socially distant, outdoor settings.
Brewer expects outdoor gatherings to increase (and perhaps even expand in size slightly) as a safe way for individuals to get together. So, for the first time in ages, we can likely have that barbecue with friends.
“I’m not sure whether we’ll get where stadiums are full,” he added, “but I do think that there will be smaller outdoor gatherings.”
Nuzzo stressed the importance of caution, however. It’s still considered risky for unvaccinated people to get together with others, so take note if you haven’t had your shot.
“The worry is when unvaccinated people gather,” Nuzzo said, referring to children. “But if all of the , then I think [an outdoor gathering] is a reasonable thing to do.”