Questions about the future arise as COVID threat eases

Encore becomes vaccination center

By JOSH RESNEK

New infections continue to litter the landscape here but overall, the pandemic is ebbing.

Hospitalizations are way down. Severe illness from the virus has declined as doctors and hospitals have devised new procedures and a bevy of drugs to deal with the virus when it attacks.

The chief cause for relief is vaccination.

Since President Joe Biden was elected, more than half the nation has been vaccinated.

The older and the elderly have been given a great deal of protection from falling ill with the virus as a result.

Schools are once again doing in-classroom teaching.

Restrictions of all kinds have been reduced or eliminated throughout the state by the Massachusetts Department of Health.While facemasks and social distancing continue to be required by the state, the real question arises: how much longer will this be a part of public health policy?

A first of sorts was established in Florida over the weekend where an MMA martial arts fight attracted a crowd of 15,000, most of whom did not wears masks.

There was no social distancing.

What does this say about the disconnect between states like Massachusetts where we are told to remain vigilant and Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is willing to cast that state’s population to the wind.

Massachusetts has the highest percentage of people seeking vaccinations in the nation.

More than half the population of the state has been vaccinated.

More than half the nation’s people have been vaccinated.

When that percentage reaches 70%, we are near to herd immunity – the place where we want to be as a nation.

When herd immunity is achieved, we are relatively safe from the contagion.

Regrettably, almost 600,000 men, women, and children have died since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

A cruel year has come to an end.

April is the month of new beginnings.

Restaurants locally and across the state can now safely serve 50% capacity crowds.

In Nevada, casinos will be able to shortly have 80% capacity crowds in their gaming rooms.

Massachusetts is expected to follow with similar relaxations of Draconian health guidelines still being enforced.

Everett does not rely on tourism, although it is believed the Encore casino is partly dependent upon tourism in order to generate higher income.

Europe right now is relaxing travel by Americans who have been vaccinated.

This should get the two way street of tourism from Europe to America and from America to Europe, jump-started.

Tourism into Boston’s Logan Airport remains disastrously low compared to the 28 million people who came through Logan Airport from other places in 2020.

Present figures are at 25% of that total.

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