The country is heading into its third Covid winter without crucial tools we’ve relied on at previous points in the pandemic, both as governments roll back their responses and as the virus outruns some of our most important medicine-cabinet defenses.
Free at-home tests are no longer showing up at people’s doorsteps. States are reporting outbreak data less frequently, and globally, testing and surveillance programs have been curtailed. Support for community vaccination campaigns has dwindled. And next year at some point, the U.S. government will stop paying for Covid vaccines and treatments, which could widen gaps in access as the products move to being covered by insurance.