1,000 days to slow the spread
15 days to slow the spread of COVID-19 became 1,000 days, and counting.
This article was originally published Dec. 10, 2022.
Dec. 10, 2022, is the 1000th day of the ‘15 Days to Slow the Spread’ campaign. The United States of America went from ‘15 days to slow the spread’ of COVID-19 to 1,000 days (and counting) to slow the spread of COVID-19, fear and paranoia. Even though the virus has weakened and several vaccines and treatments are widely available, the pandemic continues.
The following is an abridged timeline of the past 1,000 days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DAY 1: March 16, 2020
President Donald Trump's ‘15 Days to Slow the Spread’ began on March 16, 2020, and consisted of the following recommendations:
Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
That was it. Those were the recommendations for the ‘15 Days to Slow the Spread.’
DAY 16: March 31, 2020
Welcome to ‘30 Days to Slow the Spread’ of COVID-19. The sequel to the ‘15 Days to Slow the Spread” included an expanded list of precautions and orders.
*Now for the small print below the Coronavirus Guidelines for America:
Governors of states with evidence of community transmission, or evidence of community transmission in neighboring states, were told they “should close schools.”
All states were told they “should follow Federal guidance” and halt social visits to nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities.
In states with evidence of community transmission, the Coronavirus Guidelines for America stated that bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate “should be closed.”
“We’re all in this together.” - U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams
The ‘30 Days to Slow the Spread’ ushered in the complete loss of normality in the United States of America.
DAY 17: APRIL 1, 2020
Florida shuts down.
“When the president did the 30-day extension, to me that was – people aren’t just going to go back to work. That’s a national pause button,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis explained during an April 1, 2020 news conference in Tallahassee. “When you see the President up there – if you’ve seen his demeanor the last couple of days – that’s not necessarily how he always is. I think that we all look at this and say this thing is really nasty.”
DAY 19: APRIL 3, 2020
President Trump and his administration recommend Americans wear “non-medical cloth” face coverings.
DAY 52: MAY 6, 2020
Florida announces plans to reopen.
DAY 59: MAY 13, 2020
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, warns that the coronavirus may never go away and may just join the mix of viruses that kill people around the world every year.
DAY 274: DEC. 14, 2020
The first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 are delivered to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The vaccine received an emergency use authorization on Dec. 10, 2020 (two full years ago).
DAY 278: DEC. 18, 2020
The Moderna vaccine is issued an emergency use authorization.
DAY 311: Jan. 20, 2020
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The “100 Days Masking Challenge” begins and Biden halts the country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization.
In his inaugural address, President Biden said the words, “unity” and “uniting,” eleven times. Here is a small portion of his speech.
History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.
We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.
We can treat each other with dignity and respect.
We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.
For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.
No progress, only exhausting outrage.
No nation, only a state of chaos.
This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.
And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.
DAY 349: FEB. 27, 2021
Johnson and Johnson receives an emergency use authorization for its one-dose vaccine.
DAY 506: AUG. 3, 2021
The Delta variant accounts for an estimated 93.4% of coronavirus circulating in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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DAY 526: AUG. 23, 2021
Full approval is given to Pfizer’s vaccine. The upgrade from the previous emergency use authorization kicks off serious talk of mandating vaccines for virtually all Americans. The Moderna vaccine waits until Jan. 31, 2022, Day 687, to receive the same approval.
DAY 527: AUG. 24, 2021
Well, it didn’t take long to mandate vaccines. On Aug. 24, the Secretary of Defense directs the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all active duty and Ready Reserve members of the Armed Forces. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement remains in effect on Day 1,000. All branches of the Armed Forces have been reluctant to grant religious and medical accommodations, leading to various lawsuits.
DAY 543: SEPT. 9, 2021
President Biden signs Executive Order on requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees and contractors. This Executive Order remains in effect on Day 1,000, but is not currently enforced due to it being tied up in the court system.
DAY 614: NOV. 19, 2021
Booster shots are authorized for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
DAY 641: DEC. 16, 2021
We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated – for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm. But there’s good news: If you’re vaccinated and you have your booster shot, you’re protected from severe illness and death.”
-President Joe Biden
DAY 647: DEC. 22, 2021
Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid is authorized as the first antiviral Covid-19 pill in the United States.
DAY 648: DEC. 23, 2021
Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir, becomes the second antiviral COVID-19 pill to be authorized in the United States.
DAY 662: JAN. 6, 2022
Novak Djokovic, the world number one tennis player, is detained in Australia for being unvaccinated for COVID-19, and later deported. The Serbian, who remains unvaccinated, goes on to win Wimbledon during the summer and earn almost $10 million in prize money in 2022. The Djokovic saga is continued later in this article.
DAY 869: AUG. 1, 2022
CDC updates their COVID-19 Treatments and Medications webpage to include tips on managing symptoms.
Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better.
“Most people” means both vaccinated and unvaccinated. For both of these groups, over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and Advil can be used to “help you feel better,” according to the CDC.
DAY 825: JUNE 18, 2022
The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.
DAY 893: AUG. 25, 2022
Unvaccinated tennis player, Novak Djokovic, announces that he has to withdraw from the U.S. Open due to the proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement to enter the United States. Ironically, Djokovic participated in the U.S. Open in 2021, where he made it to the championship round despite being unvaccinated. In 2022, due to his vaccination status, Djokovic was banned from playing in the Australian Open, the Canadian Masters, and the Cincinnati Masters. As of Day 1,000, the Serbian is still alive and plans to play the Australian Open in Jan. 2023.
Fiji, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Philippines, Pitcairn, Singapore, Tonga, Turks and Caicos, and the United States. These are the countries that still require foreign travelers to show proof of vaccination.
DAY 894: AUG. 26, 2022
We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase. Namely, we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.
-Dr. Antony Fauci in a “PBS Newshour” interview
Later in the week, Dr. Fauci walked back the comments on NPR: “The pandemic is not over. Don’t anyone think that.”
DAY 899: AUG. 31, 2022
Updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer are authorized. Both are bivalent vaccines that combine the companies’ original vaccine with one that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sublineages.
DAY 917: SEPT. 18, 2022
President Biden announces - twice- that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it. It's — but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it's changing.
-President Biden in 60 Minutes interview (Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022)
DAY 987: NOV. 27, 2022
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Dr. Fauci says that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
Day 993: Dec. 3, 2022
DAY 1,032: JAN. 11, 2023
The COVID-19 public health emergency expires. However, the Biden administration has made it known that they intend to extend the emergency through the spring. Each extension to the public health emergency has lasted 90 days, which will push the emergency into early April 2023.
DAY 1,096: MARCH 16, 2023
March 16, 2023 is the three-year anniversary of the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign.
It is common for government agencies, businesses and organizations to conduct after-action reviews following significant and even not-so-significant events. In my opinion, there should be a careful and unbiased review of what went right and what went wrong in terms of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the best of the response to the virus can be repeated if there is another pandemic and the worst of the response can be avoided at all costs.
Here is a quick list of items that should be reviewed to determine whether they worked:
Quarantines of sick people in nursing homes
Testing of healthy Americans
Requiring Americans to get vaccinated to hold jobs, seek medical care, etc.
Vaccinating children as young as six months old
Social media and news media censorship of all opposing viewpoints
Right or wrong, trust in public health and government officials has been shaken. The next pandemic could be deadlier and might genuinely require harsher measures than COVID-19, so regaining trust is critically important. Only time will tell whether an effort will be made to earn back the trust.
Clearly, a lot more has occurred over the past 1,000 days than what we’ve provided in the abridged timeline of pandemic events. Fill in the gaps and/or provide your feedback in the comment section.
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