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Full year passes since WHO declared global pandemic

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - One year ago Thursday, March 11, the World Health Organization declared that we’re in a global pandemic. Since then, COVID-19 changed nearly everything and presented new challenges to the majority people in the U.S. and around the world.

With Thursday marking 365 days of stay-at-home orders, mask mandates and social distancing, the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines and lowered case numbers brings optimism for Sedgwick County residents who are looking forward to spending more time with family and getting out of the house more often.

“Staying home away from my family was very frustrating because we had two or three babies that were born this year and I wasn’t able to hold them or see them,” said Francis Castaneda, a Wichita grandmother who received her vaccine.

The end of 2020 brought hope with the FDA finally authorizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines. Now comes work to get vaccine doses to everyone who wants to be vaccinated, as quickly as possible. While the pandemic isn’t over, vaccine availability and the improved trends bring hope that the pandemic’s end is in sight.

Nationally, health experts generally agree that somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of the population must be protected (vaccinated) to suppress the spread. At the current pace of about 2 million doses per day, 70 percent of the U.S. population could be fully vaccinated around the end of July.

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