Americans are in a sprint to return to the sports they love. Players want to play, coaches want to coach, and teams want to see fans in the stands sooner than later. But what if a return to sports (as they once were) winds up being more of a marathon than a sprint?
For months I’ve been covering the race to develop a Covid-19 cure. Though public health officials claim an FDA-approved vaccine should be ready by early 2021, that timeline is based more on medical optimism than scientific evidence or past precedent. Nearly all vaccines take five years or, usually, much longer. The world record for the fastest effective vaccine was set in 1967, when Merck licensed the mumps inoculation in just four years.
Scientists say that reaching “herd immunity,” the point at which the virus will no longer spread, will require at least 50% of the