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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Normal love

BY Dan Isaac Dec 3, 2020

While 2020 has undoubtedly been a bleak year, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Two encouraging vaccines have finally logged onto the Zoom call, as well as a couple of promising treatment options.

But let’s not pop the single-serving champagne bottles just yet.     

Pfizer and Moderna have vaccines that appear to be 95% effective against the virus while Eli Lilly and Regeneron have produced antibody treatments that could be lifesavers for those who’ve tested positive with Covid-19.   

This news comes as all of us are dying to break free from confinement. Now would be the worst time to do so.

Canada has secured 26,000 doses of the Eli Lilly antibody treatment drug – with thousands more to come. Initial doses will be delivered over a period of three months and Canada has already topped over 5,000 new cases per day in late November. 

Those numbers mean not everyone who contracts the virus will be able to receive the new life-saving drug, nor would they be eligible. 

The US Food and Drug Administration says that patients who test positive for the virus but have yet to show symptoms are the only ones who should be receiving the new treatment. However, several high-profile hospitalized patients, including President Trump, have praised the new drug as a miracle cure.  

But onto the vaccines. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will require two doses with a three-week waiting period between the shots. And that’s not even considering the demand for them, which can only be described as crazier than for the new PlayStation5.

Even with these two, admittedly, soul-saving medical breakthroughs, it’s still just Swiss cheese. 

The Swiss cheese model for preventing virus transmission describes multiple levels of prevention. Obviously, a single layer of Swiss cheese has holes. When lining up multiple layers, the holes become smaller or blocked completely. The vaccines and treatments are additional slices but there could still be gaps. 

Things like masks, social distancing and disinfecting are becoming new norms. They’ve proven to be effective against other coronaviruses. Flu diagnoses have been extraordinarily low this fall. 

In my estimation, morale has gone hand in hand. 

I know I’m not alone in saying this has been one of the most mentally trying years of my life. It’s done so by taking all the things I took for granted – seeing my coworkers, visiting family, going to the movies, the gym, restaurants, bars and participating in public life in general. 

We all want normal. You’re not alone. At no time in the history of humanity have we all wanted normalcy so badly. 

When we work our way back to some semblance of it, let’s give it the appreciation it deserves.  

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Dan Isaac is a Mi'kmaq and Mohawk journalist with a BA in Creative writing from Concordia University. He’s been writing for the Nation since 2016.