Experts reflect on COVID-19 journey one year later

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials at OU are reflecting on the journey of the past year with COVID-19 and how people have been coming together to work towards full vaccination. 

A lot has changed since March 6, 2020, from knowing very little about COVID-19 to adjusting to what many call “new normal.”

“I think it’s a huge leap for us. A year ago, when we first started meeting, we first started hearing about COVID-19, it didn’t even have a name yet,” Jill Raines, vice provost of Health Sciences Administration at OU, said.

Just nine months after the first case, the vaccine came out, which was a huge accomplishment.

“I don’t think we expected that we’d have a vaccine this fast and that’s one of the really great things about this pandemic, it brought out the best in American ingenuity in terms of developing the vaccine targeted to this particular virus,” Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Chief COVID officer, said. 

Experts says each person vaccinated is a step closer to herd immunity.

“I think hope is on the horizon, that’s what these vaccines represent, it may be a little different normalcy than we had before,” Raines said. 

They also say getting this far took a lot of collaboration.

“The data, the people coming in, the timeliness of it, they all have to work together so that we use doses carefully, but we get as many as we can done in the shortest time that we can,” David Horton, OU Chief Information Officer, said. 

However, despite all the progress, there are still some unknowns.

“We don’t know what will happen in Oklahoma with these variant strains and whether that will cause us to have more cases down the road,” Bratzler said.

He also says it’s also unclear if COVID-19 will become seasonal.

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