Record editorial: What a difference a month makes
The situation was bleak in mid-January.
COVID-19 case counts in Summit County after the holidays dwarfed what we experienced in the early months of the coronavirus crisis. The vaccine rollout here and in the rest of the state was off to a sluggish start, dragged down by an extreme supply shortage. Frustration was building, along with a growing, if hyperbolic, sense that we’d be in the depths of the pandemic forever.
What a difference a month can make.
Though the pandemic is very much still raging, our community finds itself in a much better place, and for perhaps the first time in this crisis that has now stretched for nearly a year, the outlook is optimistic.
Case numbers in the county have plummeted to the lowest levels since September and will hopefully keep dropping. The pace of inoculations has increased of late, meanwhile, with roughly 6,600 county residents having received at least their first shot. Though the vaccine is still far too scarce, production is ramping up and new vaccines are expected to be approved in the coming months, which would bolster the supply.
In fact, Gov. Spencer Cox recently said he expects all adults in Utah should be eligible for a vaccine sometime this spring, in April or May. There are still roadblocks that could derail that timeline, but that it could even be possible is an uplifting prospect.
Is it time to tear off our masks and start living life like we did before COVID? Certainly not. The vast majority of residents have yet to get a shot in the arm, and the progress we’ve made over the last month is tenuous. It could easily be undone if we lose sight of the reality of the situation and the challenges still ahead.
Easing up prematurely would be foolish after a year’s worth of diligence and effort.
But the news right now is unquestionably good. Amid a crisis that has tested our community like no other, and given us so many reasons to be glum, Parkites are happy to see the end of the pandemic draw ever nearer even if for now it remains out of reach.
Sure, everyone would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow and get back to normal. Short of that, though, we’ll settle for a dose of optimism. It’s no cure for the pandemic, but after such a miserable 11 months, it nonetheless works wonders.
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Our view: Most businesses prepare for a slow spring each year, but a better-than-average stretch would be a welcome boost since it’s unlikely many of them experienced what they’d consider a banner ski season.