Serious Topic--what do we do about social isolation policies if a vaccine takes months or years to release to the public?

This is serious, not sarcastic.

I keep hearing in conversations on television (mainly from journalists interviewing celebrities) and in the print media (mainly from journalists interviewing people who are still working and earning a paycheck) and of course, here on CAF (people I don’t know personally) that we need to keep the precautionary restrictions going until we have a vaccine.

What if there isn’t a vaccine?

Usually, vaccines take a long time, several years, to develop and trial-test before releasing it to the public. There are a lot of risks with a vaccine (or any med for that matter), and I personally would be very hesitant to take something into my body that hasn’t been rigorously vetted.

So what do we do if the vaccine isn’t available by this summer? Or next fall? Or next year at this same time?

I’m serious here. Right now, we have a 14.7 % unemployment rate, and it will get worse, as companies are forced to let go of employees that they’ve been sustaining with company funds that were never meant to be used to pay wages.

Kids are supposedly learning from home. But in reality, many kids in the U.S. are NOT learning from home because they don’t have parents who keep on them and make them do their online lessons and do activities other than watch TV and sleep. In our city, our achievement test scores have been horrifically low for over a decade; 85% of our students do not achieve minimal grade levels on their standardized national tests–that’s eighty-five percent–it wasn’t a typo on Peeps’ part! Does anyone honestly think these kids are diligently going online and doing the lessons that their teachers have developed?

What will happen to the vast number of children and teens who spend a year or more not learning squat other than how to win the latest computer game?

And how about churches? Many churches are already losing big money–how will they continue to pay their employees and pastors? Catholic priests have a whole world of parishioners to care for them, and they are historically willing to suffer poverty for the sake ot the gospel. But most Protestant pastors earn a living and support families (often with many children!) from their pastorates!

And sports? And the arts? Many people are employed directly or indirectly in these professions, not necessarily as bazillionaire athletes or actors, but as support staff, office staff, maintenance, restaurants, etc. What will they do now?

WHAT if there is no vaccine? What’s the plan? Is the United States and much of the rest of the world as we know it—gone?

Trust in God. And in ourselves. And each other.


I have been asking many of the same questions and so have many others I know.
I also work in healthcare, and am seeing the truth and not what a propaganda driven media wants me to see.
I fear what may come if more of us who have common sense don’t start speaking up.
Fear of being ridiculed for speaking the truth should never be an excuse to stay silent.


I trust God, it the “others” I have problems with. Especially when they are fear-mongering, partisan, politicos who are worried more about their own pride than what is best for the country as a whole.


Interesting and good to hear from you as a health-care professional.

So…I’m not going to attack you either way!–but are you in favor of continued restriction of social and business interactions, or are you in favor of opening up social activities (sports, arts, shopping, eating out, etc.) and businesses (which are often social activities)?

What I think is strange is that all of us in the hospital are working at close quarters in crowded conditions and physical settings that are far from pristine (we got a shipment of a hundred boxes of COVID-10 tests last week, and our lab looks like a ware house right now–boxes everywhere!–and next week, we are supposed to get, courtesy of the Federal Government (wowee, we were so full of our important status as a “hot spot” in Illinois) one thousand boxes of COVID-19 tests, and I’m guessing there every inch of our space will be filled with stack of boxes!

But in spite of what I would consider “overcrowding” in our physical environment, and most of us despising our face masks (most of which are just homemade cotton things), we are all healthy so far (grace of God).

In our Diocese, parishes have applied for and received SBA forgivable loans. These monies pay salaries, benis, utilities and any mortgage or rent payments the parish/school has. They are 100% forgivable if they do not layoff/fire/furlough people. Also, parishioners have been very faithful with continuing to give.

We may be special, as a resort town, everyone is hiring. Service businesses have trouble finding workers because they are making it fine on unemployment.

I think we will simply have a new normal. You will never see an “all you can eat buffet” again, some may switch to cafeteria style. We will wear masks as part of our daily interactions, we won’t cram together in crowds.

School will look different, likely smaller classes, shorter hours however the teacher can give more attention with smaller class sizes. Those who thrive learning online will be able to do so. They will eat lunch at their desks and not gather in a big crowd. The students may stay in the same classroom all day, with the subjects/instructors coming into the rooms instead of VV.

We will develop new ways to do things, families will spend more time together (we have been saying that is needed for a long time, right?) Extended family living in close proximity may become the new normal, again, not a bad thing for most families.

I am all for opening up. I never believed in quarantining healthy people to begin with.

I work in a nursing home. Most of the people I care for have very severe underlying issues that complications from the common cold could kill them. That is why they live there. They need 24 hour assistance.
Most if them also have a MOLST (medical orders for life sustaining treatment) form that explicitly stated no intubation or artificial respiration, no resuscitation, and no hospitalization. They are free to change their minds at any time, though most don’t.
I truly believe that the hype and hysteria is manufactured to push an agenda.


The nationwide shutdowns we were told wee to flatten the curve and keeps hospitals from being overwhelmed. It appears that has happened.

I assume no one now is changing their position to waiting for a vaccine? That’s hardly tenable.


There are people advocating this… ETA: there are already some threads about it.

Here’s a link to the 5-step plan for Re-opening Illinois (announced by Governor J.B. Pritzker earlier this week):

Notice that the last step, full re-opening of the economy, will not happen until there is a treatment and/or a vaccine.

From listening to Gov. Pritzker’s speeches, I understand that when he says “Treatment,” he’s not talking about what’s being done now–hospitalization/intubation/respirators, etc. He’s talking about a take-home med that anyone can use and “cure” COVID-19.

I personally don’t think that this kind of “treatment” or a vaccine, is realistically likely to happen for at least a few years. So basically, what our governor is saying is that Illinois will not be totally open for at least a few years. And if you read the Steps, it seems that we will all be wearing masks for those few years.

I don’t think so. Masks have their own issues when it comes to infections and other health issues. Frankly, I can’t imagine a street festival, a flea market, a concert, a sporting event, or any other large public gathering, where everyone is wearing a mask, especially if there is food or drink. It just isn’t realistic.

I think that people who are at risk for COVID-19 will, in all likelihood, feel safest if they seldom go out, which has risks as well, mainly psychological and emotional. But if they want to avoid infection with COVID-19, they will have little choice. Perhaps the screened-in front yard porch will replace the currently-seldom used backyard deck in Illinois homes. (Drive through any neighborhood in our city or in the Midwest–NO ONE is ever on those backyard decks!)

I belivea fast, less invasive test will come before a vaccine. Blood, urine or saliva that can have a fast reading. This would allow sports teams to have all participants tested just prior to each game/practice. Same for actors, dancers, musicians and those who work in production. It may mean daily testing. The audiences for these performances may have to be watching on a screen, the Trolls movie success has shown that can be a lucrative way to distrubute.

This is a good question. I don’t think it’s really hit home with most people yet that this situation, where the coronavirus is active, could last several years. People are assuming that everything is going back to normal sooner rather than later. The reality is that there are some states, such as Illinois, cited above, that aren’t planning on opening up completely until there is a vaccine or a way to guarantee that people won’t die from the virus. But now experts are cautioning that there is a real possibility that there might not be a vaccine, or that the best case scenario may be that it will be a recurring vaccine that has to be given every year, like the yearly flu shot, and that there will be new strains of COVID each year. What happens if this is the case?

Even if there is a vaccine developed, in the absolute best case scenario, we’re probably looking at another full year of social distancing, isolation, closed businesses, wearing masks all of the time in public, etc. But once a vaccine is developed, how long will it take to be produced, and administered to basically, every human being on earth? It could be a year or two after that before everyone is actually vaccinated, and there are enough vaccines. Maybe even longer. Are we really going to stay shut down and isolated for that long?

The current situation is not sustainable. Eventually the money will dry up, unemployment benefits will run out, and the economy will be thrust into a downward spiral that can’t be saved. But I think people will get fed up with all of this before that happens, and governments will be pressured to open up earlier. Even now there are groups of people who have had enough. As time goes on, more will start to agree with them. Right now the media is portraying it as a bunch of alt-right crazies who want to sacrifice grandma so they can preserve their freedom. And right now it probably is more people on the right who are pushing back against this. But get back to me in a few months when some states are still doing this, and people want to take their vacations, or go to the park, or enjoy a meal at a restaurant without wearing a mask. People will get tired of this eventually, and the politicians will have to change tact. So there is still hope I think that this madness will eventually end, maybe without having to wait for a vaccine which may or may never come.


What makes it tough on people like those of us in Illinois is that at least one of our near neighbors, Missouri, is open–restaurants at least. Perhaps not in St. Louis, but outside of the city, people can go into a restaurant and sit down and stay there to eat their meal.

Our daughter and son-in-law sent us a picture of themselves in a MIssouri town enjoying a meal out for the first time in nearly 2 months.

Hopefully, they won’t get sick, and hopefully, no one else who ate in that restaurant on the same day will get sick. And hopefully, this will keep happening, and eventually, the “science” evidence will make it obvious that there is no need to keep up the lock-down.

Or–they will come down with COVID-19, and hopefully be sick for a week or so, but not hospitalized, and they’ll get better, and again, the “science’” evidence will indicate that most of us will not suffer in the ICU before we die of COVID-19. We’ll just get the same creeping crud we always get every winter/spring–fever, chills, muscle aches, stuffy head, deep cough, missed work, endless TV on the sofa–and then we’ll recover just like we always do (until it’s our time to die, that is), and go back to our active lives. This “science” evidence will indicate that there is no need for a total lockdown.

Or…everyone who was in the restaurant will get COVID-19, be admitted to ICU with life-threathening symptoms, get intubated, and die. Then the “science” evidence will indicate that we’d better just plan on being locked down for a long, long time until a safe and effective vaccine is tested and proven efficacious.

Hopefully it will be the first or second scenaria above, not the third. Science!

I don’t think so. We can easily vaccinate the more vulnerable first; they will then be protected and those who are unlikely to suffer few or any consequences of being infected will not have to worry so much about potentially passing it on.

But even before we do that, if those who are vulnerable due to age or medical condition, are careful and accommodations made for them, then I think we can open up carefully and gradually.

By accommodations I mean special hours at the stores, maybe even some spaced-out seating at restaurants, things like that, so we can all get back to normal.


While our state is in a phase 1 of opening it is evident that people will “go back to normal” quickly.

I think the answer to the question is that we don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but we are going to continuously adapt. Teachers are going to find new ways to reach students. Businesses are going to find new ways to do business. Entertainers are going to find new ways to entertain. Those who are able to innovate will probably do better than those who need a system to tell them what and how to do things. That’s sort of the way things work when the world changes. Sometimes the world changes gradually and sometimes, like now, it changes suddenly.

Serious question: What, in your opinion, is this agenda?

Whenever I ask this question the response is usually some crazy, off-the-wall conspiracy theory. I’m hoping to hear a reasoned response soon.

Also, thanks for your work in the nursing home. I have two friends who care for the elderly in nursing homes. One is in a small city that has no reported cases of Covid-19. Still, visitors are not permitted. They do their best to keep spirits up, but many of the residents are lonely and depressed being isolated from their families. Also, since there are no family members to advocate for the residents anymore, the quality of care has dropped a bit. The other friend works in a facility in a major metropolitan area. Covid-19 has cut through her facility like a horde of locust. From what she reports, it’s really, really ugly in there.

You are to be commended for doing a vital, yet rough, dirty job.

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The fact that I live in NYS tells me there is an agenda.
Our governor has been slowly eroding our rights for the past 8 years. He has been trying to push a “socialized medicine” program for NY and if you dare to disagree with him, there will be harsh repercussions.

The response in our state has been devastating to Upstate, but he does not care, because the downstaters will keep him in office.


Oh, that’s tough. I’m sorry. I have a dear childhood friend who lives in Walton–is that consider Upstate? I doubt she cares for the situation in the state.

My daughter lives in NYC, and she seems to love the guv and thinks he’s doing a super job of leading them all through the pandemic. I feel that he has managed to convince the city-dwellers that he’s really with them all the way—not being there, I’m not sure how much of it is real and how much is a good shellacking.

The feeling towards our governor (Illinois) is getting more toxic by the hour. He’s lost his cool at least twice now and scolds us as though we are naughty children. Not a good leadership tactic, IMO. I’m guessing that when this is all over, many MANY Illinoisians will pack up and move out. I wish we could. Elderly relatives keep us here, as well as a brother that I don’t want to leave (but he moved over the border to Wisconsin!).

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Most of the states reopening fail to meet the White House guidelines for reopening. Only a handful of states actually qualify. My state actually does qualify for stage one reopening, but not the county I live in.
So, with a majority of States opening before it’s safe to do so, we are in an ever shifting storm.
For the first time in recent history, no one in the entire World has a plan. We are in the middle of a disaster movie.
Let’s pray that God has the script, and He has the plan. All we have is God and Faith. My mother in law once said “There isn’t any tough situation in life that a good Catholic can’t get through”…
All we can do is be Catholic :slight_smile:

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