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The Pandemic is Dead, Long Live the Pandemic

Officially it is over. Have you gotten your booster shot?

Today is the official end of the pandemic. While the virus still lingers, the funding and the emergency is now behind us.

What did we learn:

  • Closing all the schools for such a long time was not good for children's mental health and and education in general.
  • We needed many more supplies in the National stockpile than what we had. Offshoring the manufacture of products saves money, but at what cost when there is a surge?
  • Vaccines save lives, and anti-viral medications are also important.
  • A "non-centralized" healthcare system like ours has it limitations when it comes to collecting data that can be analyzed to help with quick reaction strategies. Israel and England both did much better.
  • Lastly, and most importantly—communications are critical and how we communicate to the public is key to much of the success or trouble we might experience. It was the key failure here in the United States as multiple messages, fed by disinformation and conflicting political messaging cost people their lives. It was not our proudest moment.

Just last week I got my 5th COVID Booster Shot. And, yes—the next day I did not feel terrific, but it was only one day. For teenagers and seniors, prophylactics do work!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.