Never did it seem reasonable that a preventative cure would not be developed.
Medicine, quite simply, is a marvel in the 21st century. We might remain perplexed why every disease and sickness can’t be remedied, chief among them cancer, but we are nowhere near astonished to see vaccinations happening this week to combat COVID-19.
Getting to this point has been a process. And the point we’re at is only the first doses, a limited supply that enables front-line workers to be treated. It’s a start, and one we’ve awaited since figuring out sometime in the spring that positive tests were going to happen and that our county would not be spared.
Bladen was among the last 17 counties to have a case of the virus and has one of the first 11 hospitals in the state to receive vaccinations. Cape Fear Valley Health said 975 doses were sent to Bladen County Hospital, and that matches up closely with knowing we have about 500 front-line workers between the hospital, EMS and long-term care facilities.
Others at the greatest risk will be next. The general population, state health officials say, could see availability sometime well into the spring.
Certainly, that’s contingent on things going well.
Concerns we hear seem to be related to the side effects caused by the vaccination. Keep in mind, that’s not too uncommon for any. Published reports say allergic reactions are what medical officials are monitoring the most, and in many cases are asking those getting a shot to stay nearby for another 15 to 30 minutes.
Getting from that first case in the state of Washington to people getting vaccinated in Elizabethtown has been a complex journey. We’ve seen our friends and neighbors deal with the deadly disease in varying ways, from taking every imaginable precaution to thumbing a nose at the situation.
It became a political football in a year when we already had a big enough game. Throughout the campaigns here and across the country, the virus was a key talking point and one for which voting decisions were based.
We’ll see how soon COVID-19 is eradicated from the world. Nobody knows how long that will take, but here on Broad Street, we do expect it to happen. The beginning steps were in research about a decade ago, and more have been taken with multiple companies developing vaccines.
We’re at the point where people are getting the first shots. In three weeks, they’ll get the second dose.
And then we wait some more. We’ll see if they remain COVID-free, and for how long the vaccination lasts.
We have hope it will be a lifetime.
Behind the scenes, the research will continue. At 95 percent effectiveness, there’s room to improve. If it gets to 100 percent, we won’t be astonished.
Medicine, after all, is a marvel in the 21st century.