Covid 19- Where Are We Now


BBC News

High School students at school wearing masks

Ella Connors, News Editor

For way too many months, Covid 19 has devastated communities around the country. Our way of life prior to the pandemic has forever been lost, and it has been replaced by a version many of us would rather not have to get familiar with. But nevertheless, get familiar, we did.
So now, in the fall of 2021, where are we? What has improved? What hasn’t?
Well, one thing is for sure, vaccines have made a huge difference. Evidence has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective in people 16 years old or older who were not previously infected by Covid-19 (CDC). However, Moderna appears to be leading in the longevity of effectiveness in people who received it. Moderna remains 91% effective at keeping people out of hospitals. Pfizer, on the other hand, seems to have fallen from a previous 91% effectiveness rate to around 77% effective at preventing hospitalization (NPR).
Maintaining a high level and long period of effectiveness is where the booster shots come into play. The FDA and CDC recently announced that those with compromised immune systems, working in a compromised area (teachers, nurses, etc.) or of a certain age bracket, are now eligible for a Pfizer booster shot. Like all previous Covid-19 vaccines, the booster shots are free and meant to give the receiving individual a boost in their immune system pertaining to the prevention of this virus (CDC).
But throughout this period, where some are vaccinated and some aren’t, cases still haven’t gone down to a sustainable or, to some, satisfactory level. Despite the concerns of a portion of the population, the question that still begs to be answered is, is life returning to normal? Some could say that it is. Senior at Ramapo, Ria, recently attended the Harry Styles Concert in New York City, and reported that she, “definitely felt like the world [was] healing now that we were able to fill up an arena for a concert . . . [she] waited almost two years for it so being able to go was so incredible.” These experiences are definitely symbolic of a more familiar culture returning to people’s lives.
But are adults experiencing the same sense of renowned freedom as children? Ms. Green, a science teacher here at Ramapo, expressed that she thought that mask wearing was one of the most essential parts of Covid recovery. She believes that by wearing masks, we are allowing ourselves to get back to certain fun activities.
Masks are still being worn in many public places and many school systems, such as public schools in New Jersey, have mandated masks in an effort to keep students and staff safe.
This is definitely a time still filled with uncertainty, and as our way of life continues to change and adjust with the times, people will continue to adjust with it.