‘Vaccine euphoria’: Why this may be the ‘end of the beginning’ not the ‘beginning of the end’

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Credit: Cornelia Li/NBC News
Credit: Cornelia Li/NBC News

Exuberant headlines about vaccines — Now two! Millions more doses! — have grabbed attention, as have rightfully joyous social media photos of health care workers receiving their inoculations.

“We get so kind of blinded by vaccine euphoria — the light at the end of the tunnel — that we underestimate how long that tunnel is, and how dangerous that tunnel is,” said Peter Sands.

So hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing — and, experts warn, a healthy new dose of cognitive dissonance — will continue to be the daily reality for most of us for months to come.

The question is whether Americans will get too caught up in the enthusiasm over what they perceive to be elixirs nearly at hand. Perhaps, they might wonder, can’t they let their guard down, just a little?

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[SUNY Albany’s Samantha] Penta said that “it’s really important for people to keep in mind that while the vaccine is a great step and great progress toward a future in which we don’t have to worry about Covid-19, it’s really hundreds or thousands of little steps that are going to take a long time. Much of the next few months, for a lot of people, are going to look and feel very similar to the last few months.”

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