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We'll Be Wearing Masks Well into 2021

Even after you get the vaccine, wear a mask!

I'm not surprised by this story at all: "Incoming CDC chief tells her family they'll be wearing masks for the better part of 2021." 

Everyone is looking for the "silver bullet" that will kill the virus and return us to "normal" operations. Truth be told, even when the coronavirus no longer has pandemic or epidemic status, we'll likely be wearing masks. I think it will be a cultural phenomenon. This will be especially true when using mass transit, air or train travel. 

I'm just hoping that by September 2021, children can be going back to school, which will help everyone — parents, teachers and students — to resume a more disciplined educational environment. For some parents, school attendance equates to child care that allows them to work outside the home. 

Earlier today (Dec. 29), President-elect Biden spoke about getting 100 million vaccinations accomplished in the first 100 days of his administration. If you think about the fact that you need two rounds of vaccinations, we'll need 660 million vaccinations if we are to reach everyone in the nation. So even a goal of 1 million vaccinations a day will require the better part of two years to vaccinate everyone. 

We will see what the Biden-Harris Administration has "up their sleeve" when it comes to vaccinations, but it will be a test of how things can be done differently with a national strategy, planning and execution behind the effort. Time will tell!

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.