14 Day Epidemic: One Year Later


Rylee Farrar, Editor

On January 21, 2020, the U.S. was faced with its first case of COVID-19. Over a year later, that number has expanded to a whopping 29 million as the shutdown’s anniversary nears.

On March 9, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a Public Health Emergency due to the outbreak of the virus, which was later followed by a lockdown initially stated to last two weeks. However, the 14-day assumption quickly extended as evidence of the virus’ contagiousness became apparent.

Establishments have slowly reopened with specific rules and requirements, though this does not imply that risks have significantly reduced in any way.

While individuals were encouraged to not buy large quantities of masks to ensure that health officials possessed a sufficient amount at the beginning of the pandemic, this rule has been altered a considerable amount. In fact, the CDC recommended that citizens double up with a disposable and cloth mask combination on February 12, 2021.

The unprecedented time previously left many in shambles as a possible cure was unknown. However, on December 14, 2020, the first dosage of the vaccine was given in the U.S. to the public. According to the National Public Radio, 15% of the population have received their first dosage, and  7.5% have been given the second batch.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated that in the event that 75-80% of Americans are vaccinated during the second half of the year, it is likely that herd immunity will be reached by the end of the summer. This may contribute to decent normality by the end of the year; however, if vaccine rates near 40-50%, it is likely that the pandemic will reign on.

As America has experienced drastic changes within the past year, it is uncertain what the future will hold for the pandemic and when life will be conventional again. It is extremely significant that individuals remember to be selfless during this time of need in order to push the country towards normalcy once again.