By JOSH RESNEK
Everett virus infections dropped last week to October levels.
The state Department of Public Health reported the same.
Hospitalizations and deaths are down…but the virus is not yet done with us.
The virus continues to paralyze the nation’s economy and health care system.
The effort to vaccinate the general public has sputtered.
There is not yet enough vaccine to go around.
And even if there was enough vaccine to go around, the ability to get it shot into everyone’s arms has revealed tremendous organizational difficulties.
In Everett and throughout Massachusetts the vaccine is being administered only to those over 75 or to those accompanying 75-year-old.
First responders and a variety of first-line defenders – like hospital employees, et cetera, have been vaccinated.
It takes big money to set up a national vaccination apparatus that is fully staffed to meet the demand to give shots to 360 million Americans.
It will take billions to achieve the mass vaccination of the American public. The next stimulus. $1.9 trillion now being discussed in Washington and sure to be passed, will provide the money as well as the framework to get the job done.
It will also provide for unemployment compensation for gig workers and regular unemployed through September – and with an in- creased federal weekly disbursement of $400 weekly – up $100 a week from what is being given right now.
In addition, all those earning less than $75,000 individually and married couples earning $150,000 or less, will receive $1400 and $2800 respectively.
Payments will be provided for dependents as well.
Rental and mortgage assistance are also provided in this stimulus.
Look for this to pass quickly and very likely in the last week of February or the first week of March.
The virus continues to rage.
The vaccine rollout is just getting into gear.
There will be more funding to carry millions while the economy comes back to the new normal.
Then what? Who knows?