Are public meetings nearer than we think?

I spoke at a Chamber of Commerce meeting today. It was my first public speech in over a year. I could tell immediately that public speaking is a perishable skill. I did not stumble, but I could sense the lack of ease of delivery. I felt a marked improvement in my delivery after the first ten minutes.

Two people wore masks and kept them on for almost two hours. Most people shook hands – a couple of hugs were given to those we had not seen in months. It was a near-normal situation. Is this a scene of things to come?

Latest Headline The headline I saw today, Taming the Virus: US Deaths Hit Lowest Level in 10 Months, caught my attention. We rarely see positive headlines about the pandemic virus. Indeed, something was wrong.

US Statistics The trend lines for COVID-19 new cases and daily deaths are continuing to fall. Some states are reporting records of no recent coronavirus deaths, or they are in single digits. Infections have dropped over 80% since the high-water mark of just over six months ago.

An infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University claimed that we had tamed the virus through massive vaccinations. It seemed there was no end to good news. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Vaccine Tracking Nearly 120 million have had both vaccine shots (35+%), and over 150 million have had one shot (45+%). Over one million Americans are becoming fully protected daily since the beginning of May. Based on the current vaccination program, the CDC projects that new cases and deaths will drop sharply in late July and continue to drop through the rest of the summer.

Herd Immunity Projections With all this positive news, I would expect new articles on achieving herd immunity soon. However, almost every article tells me that herd immunity is unlikely. It is counter-intuitive.

By the end of June, over 50% of Americans will be fully vaccinated. Add the ten percent who have survived the virus, and the total stands are 60% – the threshold of the herd immunity doorway. New cases and deaths are continuing to plummet.

Vaccines are being approved for younger people. It seems quite possible that we could be a normal country again by the time schools open in the Fall. But then fear would disappear, and the pandemic winter would end. Can that possibly happen?

Complacency is the biggest threat! Vaccine hesitancy will prevent herd immunity! New variants will cause a winter surge! Another wave of new cases and deaths are possible! Are the experts overly cautious? Or do they really know?


I was pleased to see a headline that was not doom and gloom. However, the article could not stay on a positive note. Maybe it is a predictor of things to come – more positive news! I hope so.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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