Throughout much of the country, Americans are seeing signs that the light at the end of the tunnel draws near. Just over four months since the first public COVID-19 vaccines went into arms, the U.S. crossed a major milestone Friday with 100 million Americans fully vaccinated. That may be less than a third of the U.S. population but enough for a chance at more post-pandemic normalcy.
Disneyland is open again for the first time in over a year at 25% capacity, to California residents only. The color-clad crowds are back for this year’s Kentucky Derby, though masks are a must. And with a July first full re-opening on the horizon for New York City, indoor dining there is increasing to 75% next Friday.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Our healthcare team worked to determine what was the date that we could do it the right way. They believe in July 1st. I believe in July 1st. we’re on track to get five million New Yorkers vaccinated by July 1st. it’s the right moment to make this move.”
Across the country, the State of Oregon is moving forward with plans to fully open its economy by the end of June, though with the average new COVID cases there at their highest point since January, the governor says the state of emergency will stay in place until then.
Overall though, it seems the worst of the pandemic may be behind us here in the U.S., says Dr. Ashsih Jah. He explained, “Certainly we are headed in the right direction. Infections are falling. Vaccinations have to continue. I think we’re going to have a really good summer but we have to be a little bit more careful against the big stuff right now.”
The travel industry is already bracing for a massive surge in summer travel as vaccinated Americans regain confidence to hit the road.
TSA media spokesman for New England Dan Velez said, “We expect passenger values to rise significantly throughout the summer with Memorial Day being the official kickoff of the summer travel season.”
However, vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge. While the average number of COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest in months, the number of daily vaccinations administered dropped to 2.6 million this week.
As the U.S. begins to somewhat return to normalcy, it’s a different story for India. The country has been devastated by a COVID-19 outbreak. The U.S. government is delivering more than $100 million in supplies to help with relief.