Overall, Biden’s message was insensitive, Landon said, and ignores those most vulnerable to COVID, including older adults, immunocompromised people, and people of color who are disproportionately affected by the disease and its residual impacts on work, childcare, and more.
Even if we’re past the worst of it, “there’s still more to come,” Landon said, because “whether or not the pandemic part of this is over is irrelevant. COVID is here to stay” — and that could mean new variants that are better at dodging our defenses set up by infection and vaccination.
Perhaps one of the main reasons we’re not quite out of the woods is that we haven’t done enough to address the damage caused by COVID or prevent the next pandemic from happening, Landon said.
“It’s like a hurricane. When the winds come, you focus on getting through that first, but then after it passes, that’s when we put all of our time and effort into cleaning up and getting communities back to a place where they can function,” Landon said. “I think that’s where we are with COVID; the storm isn’t over.”
In an ideal scenario, the US should install efficient ventilation systems in schools and other locations, as well as offer support to families whose loved ones died from COVID, which hasn’t been done on a national scale.