The last couple of months have felt like the inverse of the slow-motion train wreck of early 2020. I don't know if there's a good compact idiom for "there's a shining glorious world on the horizon, and I know we're going to get there, but the movement toward this world is achingly slow" but that's where we're at now.
Vaccinations are ramping up, with close to 20% of Americans having received at least one dose. We're now vaccinating at a rate of over 2 million a day, with the rate steadily increasing. Depending on how aggressive states are with reopening too soon (IMHO California is opening up indoor dining a month or two too early, and that's a big mistake) we're probably looking at sometime between early April and late May when caseload starts dropping like a rock. We might have a mini fourth wave before that happens, but at this point it's almost impossible for bad policy to stop the beneficial effects of mass vaccination for long.
Vaccination via Pfizer or Moderna provides a large fraction of the protection you'd get by wearing an N95 mask, keeping you that much safer. If you're fully vaccinated AND wearing an N95 mask, you're in very good shape. Microcovid has vaccination options now, and you can see how much it helps to be fully vaccinated. In SF with full Pfizer / Moderna vaccination you can wander around relatively crowded stores and other public spaces with minimal risk, and everything short of indoor dining or indoor unmasked gatherings with unvaccinated people is pretty safe. However, the true benefits of vaccination come when almost everyone else around you is vaccinated as well, giving the virus very little chance to keep spreading. That's when crowded dance floors, bars, concerts, spectator sports, and all those wonderful mass gatherings can come back.
America generally bungled its way through responding to COVID, but it did do one thing right, and that was betting heavily on vaccine development.
Speaking of which, another glorious thing in this slow-motion inverse train wreck has been the re-emergence of generally sane and competent government. It's fantastic to see an administration that can put a coherent plan together, communicate it, and then execute it.
It's also springtime, the weather is getting warmer, and people are out enjoying themselves. It's going to be great to get back all the things we've missed for so long. We're almost there, and each week things get a little bit better.