This week, it was announced that two vaccine candidates have an over 90% effectiveness rate against the COVID-19 virus. This is incredibly good news for the travel and hospitality industry struggling under the weight of this unprecedented event. There is still a great deal of work to do; however, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel will bolster the industry and those who serve within it.
We are all tired of having to endure the past nine months of revolving lockdowns, quarantine measures, and not being able to visit those who are closest to us. Iconic hotels have had to shut their doors, airlines have been dramatically affected, tours and activities have had to reinvent themselves, and the industry, as a whole, has lost a large number of its workforce due to the pandemic. It is understandable why some say that it will take quite some time for our industry to rebound, but with the news of effective vaccines, we can now begin to look towards the future.
Over the years, I have been taught by people who are much smarter than I am that speed is the key to ensuring business success during challenging times; however, that may not be the most effective way to approach the times ahead. We have seen what speed can do when it comes to this pandemic. Prematurely opening high traffic locations can have a detrimental effect on how we battle the virus. It can create a false sense of security, leading us to lower our guard in maintaining our vigilance against COVID-19.
2021 will be the year of patience. We will all need to pull together in order to defeat this virus as vaccinations are being rolled out across the world. I know that I personally miss my Saturday morning breakfast at the local diner, but I am going to have to wait for two eggs over easy with sausage and hash browns just a little while longer. We are going to have to wait to take that long-overdue vacation just a bit longer. We are just going to have to be patient.
When it comes to the vaccine, we are also going to have to be patient. Based upon comments by Dr. Fauci and others, the roll-out of the vaccine will commence in sometime in December 2020 and administered to front line health workers first. It will then be given to those living in high-risk environments such as nursing homes and those with underlying issues such as asthma, hypertension, and other ailments that leave people vulnerable to COVID-19. It will then be distributed to those people who are “healthy” in our communities. Oh, then there is another slight wrinkle. We will need to get two vaccines 21 days apart. As you can see, patience will be front and center as the vaccine begins to be widely distributed.
Even though we may have to wait for some time to enjoy all the things we used to enjoy, this is a story of hope and resilience. COVID-19 has been a destructive force for everyone on earth but reaching the milestone of developing two vaccines that have a high efficacy rate within 12 months of research shows that we can overcome the many hurdles that have been placed before us in 2020.