[Newsphopick=Gyubin Lee] It's easy to fall into a false sense of security now that states have reopened. And many are already paying the price. States are shutting down businesses again. Popular beaches have closed. And the rate of new Covid-19 infections keeps growing in most states, threatening to reverse the progress made during stay-at-home orders.
So what happened? When states reopened to try to save the economy, the fate of this pandemic shifted from government mandates to personal responsibility. But many are not heeding that responsibility, instead of letting their guard down too early due to popular misconceptions:
No. "This is not even close to being over," the head of the World Health Organization said this week. Only about 5% to 8% of the US population has been infected with this new coronavirus, meaning we have a long way to go before reaching herd immunity.
Herd immunity generally happens when 70% to 90% of a population becomes immune to an infectious disease -- either because people have been infected and recovered, or because they've been vaccinated.
But it will be many months before a Covid-19 vaccine might be publicly available -- if one becomes effective and available at all.
There's also no cure for the novel coronavirus. So the only way to control this deadly pandemic is through personal behavior -- like staying 6 feet away from others, including in social situations, and wearing a face mask.
"It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of Covid-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday. More than 127,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 in less than six months, with hundreds more deaths every day.