One of the biggest assumptions people have regarding widespread immunization against the novel coronavirus is that it means we can get outside and exercise again without choosing low-risk areas. That popular bike path where people continue to flock during the pandemic? It has to be safe now, right? Unfortunately, that’s not what the scientists say. Part of the reason is that there are still a high number of unknowns surrounding COVID-19.
One of the biggest unknowns is how the variants will affect the push to immunize. The majority of the public won’t have the option to immunize until summer at the earliest, and our health organizations have projected at least another 200,000 dead by early May. If people don’t start taking their health more seriously, this will ultimately come to pass.
There are several variants out there right now, including one that is potentially deadlier, and one that spreads more easily. These can both lead to higher death counts. The question mark, though, is whether or not the vaccines will be as effective against these variants. The vaccine manufacturers believe that the vaccines will still work, but that perhaps the effectiveness will be somewhat diminished. Something else to keep in mind: we don’t know how long the vaccine immunity lasts.
Scientists have a pretty good idea that coronavirus infection grants the victim a certain level of protection for at least five months or so, but that people are not completely immune. The same is true for vaccines, although the vaccines probably offer better protection. That’s why those who were already infected with coronavirus should still get themselves vaccinated whenever possible.
Why don’t we know how long vaccine immunity lasts? Well, it’s because of the timeframe. Scientists simply need more time to study.
To answer the first question we asked, you should still be careful when you’re outdoors exercising. Find someplace preferably away from people. Socially distance whenever possible. Wear a mask when you can’t help but cross paths with someone outside of your immediate household.