Vaccine offer hope in an otherwise dark year

Published 2:53 pm Friday, December 18, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The administration this week of the first COVID-19 vaccines represent a remarkable achievement   in an otherwise dark year. It is cause for hope.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Tennessee remain high. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tennessee is first for average daily cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.  As of Thursday event, Tennessee had an average of 129.4 cases. The national average is 64.8.
Carter County, alone has 547 active cases as of Thursday with 76 deaths reported. Sixty-eight cases were reported Thursday.
Frontline workers in Northeast Tennessee and across the region began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week. One year ago in January the first confirmed case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the United States. At that time, the world’s infectious disease specialists were only beginning to probe reports of a worrisome “virus or pneumonia” outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Never, did we realize that it would hit Northeast Tennessee or the nation as hard as it has and still be with us when a new year rolled around. It has changed our way of life – school have had to closed and many are doing virtual classes. Churches have on-line services. Masks and social distancing are a way of life. Many celebrated Thanksgiving without family gatherings and will do the same this Christmas.
The development of a vaccine offers hope that 2021 will be much safer and friendlier. The development of not one – but two vaccines – in so short a time is remarkable. It has caused billions of dollars and has required the determined efforts of thousands of people to see it through.
This vaccine will mean so much to Americans. Schools can welcome children back, restaurants can open their doors, people can worship together again, nursing home residents will be able to visit with their families again, get haircuts, and go outside again – things we’ve taken for granted.
From the beginning of the virus, scientists have raced to learn more about the virus and how to combat it. The federal government was there to help. Operation Warp Speed put $14 billion in government funding toward public-private partnership aimed at developing and distributing a safe and effective virus in record time. The vaccine will become one of the Trump Administration’s greatest achievement.
The vaccine effort shows what’s possible when everyone pulls in the same direction, and President Trump was part of that. 
But, that were many others involved – scientists, developers, researchers, and manufacturers who worked to make it happen. They deserve the appreciation of a grateful nation.
In most cases it usually takes two years at least from the start of an epidemic outbreak to the administration of vaccines. Yet here we are – the week before Christmas and two weeks before the start of a new year, and health care workers are being inoculated in Northeast Tennessee. Soon, nursing home workers and residents will be given the vaccine, and by spring it will be available to the public. It’s something to cheer about and be happy for this Christmas.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox