The order for the day for 2021 in healthcare is to not lose our sense of common sense. A vaccine is still some way off and for all that is known right now it might even be that a series of vaccines will be required. It is logical and safe to assume that a vaccine won’t be available until the third quarter of 2021 in any meaningful sense. If two or more booster shots end up being required after that it can further be assumed that these will be given in at least 6 - 12 month intervals. This means that satisfactory herd immunity probably can’t be obtained until 2023 but that we’ll still be very much better off come 2022.
Getting more to the point is the idea that all the other usual Human ailments continue to exist and people have to be prepared for this. By this I mean, people will get the flu and other viral infections even though these are not COVID-19. The fact is that almost all of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are not really that much different than those of many upper respiratory infections including the common cold. What could not only break the system still but could cause undo anxiety as well is millions of people thinking they have COVID-19 when they don’t. If the average person follows medical advice and wears a mask, socially distances and stays clean then it will be unlikely that such a person will get COVID-19.
When the inevitable cough and fever hits, all people should think the same of when they hear hoof steps, that is; think first of horses not zebras. By far, the most likely cause of your aches and pains is some virus other than COVID-19. This also includes when you have, yes, loss of taste and smell! All upper respiratory viruses can do this and not only COVID-19. COVID-19 is simply another virus, albeit a little more dangerous in some, but still very closely related to other viruses.
If the general public comes together to believe that COVID-19 is real and not a hoax nor a virus possessing a political agenda and follows the rules laid down by mainstream, accepted science and medicine then the time frames above may even be pushed up a bit. But if 25% of America both refuse to believe it and to at least try and cooperate just in case they’re wrong then we could be looking at dealing with this further out than I am predicting. I would say that this will certainly be the fact for a couple pockets of this nation if they cling to their present beliefs. This may also serve to cause those pockets further economic devastation beyond what they ever dreamed of, as business and opportunity will avoid them, like, well, the plague.