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Monday, May 10, 2021

Moving forward after a year of COVID-19 restrictions

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Moving forward after a year of COVID-19 restrictions
Moving forward after a year of COVID-19 restrictions

One year into the pandemic, more than a hundred million Americans have been vaccinated and the numbers of cases and deaths are plummeting.

Action News Now is taking a look at how we can move forward.

6:30 open one year ago today, governor gavin newsom issued the stay at home order - and in those 12 months our lives have been filled with hand sanitizer, face coverings, zoom meetings and elbow bumps.

But perhaps it is what we have not had in the past year that's more note-worthy: birthday parties, grandparent visits, holiday gatherings - and - for so many, no job and no paycheck.

Are better days in our near future?

With vaccinations underway, the answer -- it seems, is -- "hopefully yes."

(nats of mom talking to boys) spring is in the air at degarmo park in chico.

Families, still enduring a pandemic now one year old, are just looking for moments of normalcy.

(sot: mom interview petra contreras swift 00:00:33) "it's been very challenging.

I've actually had to stop working.

I worked at a skilled nursing facility as a nurse and i could not find childcare."

Like the rest of us, this mom is tracking the plunging coronavirus numbers - hoping it's a sign of better days ahead.

(sot: mom interview petra contreras swift 00:00:07) "i miss getting together with family, good friends, like going out to eat with friends."

(video johns hopkins cases graph) could this -- be a sign of hope?

Since the post holiday spike, daily cases are plummeting nationwide.

The u.s. was seeing about 250- thousand new cases a day in january.

Now it's down to about 50- thousand.

(sot: linda lewis zoom interview 00:01:50) "i think there's a lot of reason to be optimistic about those numbers.

We're certainly on the downward slope.

That's very good."

Bu* -- there's a "but," says linda lewis with the butte county department of public health.

The numbers in many areas are plateauing at a level considered too high by the health experts.

(sot: linda lewis zoom interview 00:07:54) "we're all ready to be done with this.

But we have to hang in there a little bit longer and drive those case rates down before we can open up more."

(ihme daily cases text push) still -- look at the projections from the institute for health metrics and evaluation at the university of washington.

About 38- thousand daily infections by may first.

11-thousand june first.

And 67-hundred july first.

(ihme daily deaths text push) daily deaths, which two months ago were in the four thousand range, will be in the hundreds in a couple of months.

And just above 100, nationwide, by july first.

(biden 4th of july sot) "by july the 4th there's a good chance, you, your families and friends, can get together in your backyards, your neighborhoods, and have a cookout or a bbq and celebrate independence day."

There is of course no guarantee these predictions will come true.

(sot: linda lewis zoom interview 00:04:35) "we're in a bit of a race between the vaccine and the variants."

The continually emerging variants could -- "could" -- halt all this progress.

(sot: linda lewis zoom interview 00:06:54) "the good news is these vaccines that we have now are fairly easy to adapt to a new variant.

But we really need to drive the number of cases down in order to prevent other variants from emerging."

And rocketing toward herd immunity through vaccinations is -- say the health experts -- the only way that happens.

(sot: linda lewis zoom interview 00:05:21 alan) "what do you say to people who are reluctant or straight up defiant in refusing to get the vaccine?

"i wish they would follow the science.

The science tells us these vaccines are very safe and very effective.

And it's not just about protecting yourself.

It's about protecting the community."

You'll find all three parts of this special series of reports on the covid anniversary on our website.

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