On March 13th 2020, then-president Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The nation reacted rapidly. Many public businesses and gatherings were shut down. Those who could work from home did so, rather than come into the office. Those who could leave the cities often did. Schools shut down and children stayed home. In high-population areas, nearly everyone wore masks in public.
Private citizens pitched in. Hobbyist costumers, tailors(?), etc created cloth masks at home en masse to make up for PPE shortages. Distilleries converted from creating drinking-alcohol to hand-sanitizers. Billionaires built excess factories to prepare for eventual vaccine production. We all learned how to use a bit less toilet paper.
The medical industry went into overdrive. Spurred by Operation Warp Speed, the government’s insanely successful program of fast-tracking human trials and promising to buy 300 million vaccines, they created multiple vaccines in a matter of months. This shattered the previous record, the mumps vaccine, which took four years from development to deployment. It used cutting edge mRNA technology, which had barely even existed a decade prior.
We paid a massive price, fighting this war. Globally, estimated 18 Trillion Dollars(US) were lost. ~900 US/Mexico Border Walls. Tens of millions were out of work. Social isolation skyrocketed, hundreds of millions suffered mental and psychological damage. Social shockwaves are still echoing.
But we beat this thing. We beat it HARD. Using the USA’s massively distributed pharmacy infrastructure, everyone in the nation that wanted a vaccine was fully vaccinated less than a year and a half after the declaration of the emergency. UK scientists recently found that, in the UK, COVID is less deadly than the flu. Around the US and Europe, everything is opening back up.
It’s hard to know when to declare victory in a war without a human opponent to sign a surrender. But a victory should be announced at some point, so that everyone knows we are free. The dark times are over. We can begin to right our lives, clearing away the debris and rebuilding where needed.
March 13th was the day that the US declared its national emergency, and all of us began the fight in earnest. It is fitting that March 13th, two years later, should be the day we declare our victory.
Have a party, or raise a glass, or just hug your family. Today we are free. March 13th is Victory over Covid-19 Day.