With former Vice-President Joe Biden becoming president-elect and COVID-19 cases surging in America, the shift in planning has caused uncertainty among the general public. This new shift paired with the steady rise of cases in Clark County has caused many to worry about what is next and how it will affect them directly. Looking at Biden’s plan in comparison to Clark Counties’ current Covid model we can start to figure out what the future holds for our community.
Biden’s main focus of handling the pandemic is to allow health professionals to lead public health decisions, testing and treating current cases, stopping the rapid transmission, and restoring America as a whole. There are some ideas that have been confirmed such as a mask mandate, higher production on personal protective equipment, testing, tracing, and treating with vaccines.
Biden wants to enforce a nationwide mask mandate that draws parallels to Washington state’s current mask mandate, but the methods of controlling and preventing transmission are vastly different. Biden focuses on testing possible cases, tracing interactions with possibilities of transmission, and treating cases with vaccines. The use of testing and tracing possible cases looks to stop cases before they get to a case spike. If cases do spike then the ability to treat them with a vaccine is Biden’s next step.
Washington state’s plan for countering Covid is to use a phased approach for reopening while managing case numbers. The phased approaches are used to help slowly remove restrictions while case numbers go down. Due to the higher case numbers since July, Governor Jay Inslee has indefinitely halted all phase advancements past phase two.
Currently, Clark County is in phase two of the approach. This allows for certain businesses like barbers, pet grooming, new construction, and others to be open. Restaurants and stores are allowed to be open with limited numbers of people inside the building.
Biden is looking to ramp up PPE by utilizing the Defense Production Act for the production of face shields, masks, and other necessary PPE. His reason is to prevent a national PPE shortage by creating a surplus of it.
One uncertainty the public is facing is the advice from health professionals. With health professionals at the forefront of this pandemic, decisions will be backed by medical research, knowledge, and experienced individuals.
This new plan has students divided on how it will affect them. Some believe it will not help this late into the pandemic, while others are hopeful. A general consensus is that Covid will not stop unless something is done.
CHS Junior Kyle Kennedy believes that these new protocols are something we need, but because of how far Covid has spread it will not help the current number of cases.
Kennedy said, “I think this is what we should have had in place from the beginning, but I think at this point it won’t really help.”
With the rise in cases steadily growing both nationwide and county-wide, preventative measures feel like putting a bandaid on a broken leg and calling it fixed.
Other people think that it will have its negative effects at the start and that it will eventually get better if put into place.
CHS Junior Calder Thornberry believes that it will have negative effects at the start, but in the end, it will benefit everyone.
Thornberry said, “There’s gonna be an initial negative effect from the further lockdowns, but the long term benefits out weight the potential losses.”
The division in the faith of this new plan has all sides worried about its effectiveness. Although, with Biden’s next steps to aid in the pandemic, life is looking up for a majority of the nation.
The next few steps are still uncertain, but from what has been established so far America is set to recover and re-build. It is certain that there will be changes, but how it will affect Covid comes down to the public’s willingness to follow these new guidelines.